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years of British 


By Will Self 

By Richard T KeUy 

By Dan Davies 

By Mick Brown 

By Jeremy Langmead 

By Johnny Davis 

By Tom Parker Bowles 

By Miranda Collingc 

Full list inside! 

Tony Blair 
The interview 

By Alex Bilmes 

Photographs by Simon Emmett 

Style & Substance 


Discover more. 



Planet Ocean 

-fjven more 


The Burberry Artisans 

George Edmondson, fabric inspector 

at the Burberry mill, England 



gg2570 collection 
swiss made 



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November 2016 


Tony Blair 


Simon Emmett 


If you want a limited-edition version of 
Esquire with a unique cover delivered 
to your door, call +44 8448 481 601 and 
quote reference 1EQ11021 

@ @ukesquire 


November 2016 






Esquire’s agony uncle 
considers the amateur English 
superman, flaws and all 



The writer bemoans his 
less-than-perfect skin 



Michael B Jordan’s fashion 
creed; preventive grooming; 
Jeremy Langmead; this year’s 
best apps; Lamborghini goes 
bespoke; Russell Norman; 
Bottega Veneta AW T6; wines 
for romance; Dubai guide; 
Kenzo x H&M; Hackett and 
Aston Martin team up 



Believe in the Westworld; Julia 
Jacklin’s Aussie alt-country; 
the Nazis’ hard drug culture; 
Charlie Brooker; War on 
Everyone and American 
Honey; art drones; Mike 
Massimino’s memoirs; Oasis 
at Knebworth; Louis Theroux 



The classic two-piece navy suit 
by Giorgio Armani 


Simon Emmett 

“It’s not every day you photograph an ex-prime 
minister,” says the contributing photographer 
who shot Tony Blair in London and Israel for 
this issue. “I’m half-Israeli, so it was a privilege 
to be there with him. I’ve lived there when the 
bombs are going off and planes are overhead. 
To get an insight into how the politics works 
was amazing; it’s not something most people 
get to see.” The full report is on page 152. 

Anton Corbijn 

Film-maker and photographer Corbijn is no 
stranger to working with nascent superstars, 
having collaborated with U2 since well before 
the Dublin band were playing stadiums the size 
of Bono’s bluster. This month for Esquire, the 
Dutch creative captures, on page 182, another 
man in the ascendant, young British actor Joe 
Alwyne, soon to be seen as the lead in Ang 
Lee’s new film, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. 


Our caustic agony uncle talks idol-worship this 
month. “I had few role models as a child,” he 
says. “But I did like Wendy [from Peter Pan], 
She’s the only proper and decent person in the 
play. Peter’s a fuckwit. Everyone else is idiotic. 
But Wendy is good - she’s thoughtful and kind, 
even toTinkerbell, who’s horrible to her.” A star 
writer for Vanity Fair and The Sunday Times, 
Gill’s memoir, Pour Me, is out now. 


Sam Hofman I David Urbanke I Robbie Porter I Hearst Studios 

November 2016 






Introducing a man to watch for the next quarter century, Brit 
actor Joe Alwyn, star of Ang Lee’s upcoming Iraq War epic 


25 AT 25 


With this issue, Esquire UK marks a quarter of 
a century on the newsstands . To celebrate this 
landmark, we select the 25 men who have most 
influenced the lives of British men since 1991 


PI 52 

The former British prime minister gives a 
world exclusive interview to Editor-in-Chief 


Will Self 

“Everyone knows ‘Will Self is the creation of 
two unsuccessful artists from Herefordshire,” 
the editor-at-large tells us. “David and Letitia 
Philbert dreamed up ‘Self in the Nineties when 
their own careers were failing: ‘We conceived 
Self over a few pints. Our finest creation, he’s 
witty, urbane and dresses with sophistication. 
True, the only part of him that’s a painting is his 
face, but the oily impasto is most impressive...’” 

Russell Norman 

This month, our resident cook introduces 
unusual flavour combinations. “The most 
surprising dish I had was at a farm in Greece,” 
he recalls. “I was staying with a lovely family 
and their pet goat, Revithi. At summer’s end, 
we enjoyed a huge stew. Delicious. When 
I asked what was in it, my host pointed to the 
empty back yard. ‘Revithi,’ he said." Norman is 
working on his next book, My Venetian Kitchen. 

Jeremy Langmead 

“Knitwear used to be something only worn 
by grannies or people who played golf,” says 
the contributing editor. “And it was only ever 
referred to as ‘jumpers’ or ‘sweaters’. I’m not 
sure when knitwear came into use. Nor why it 
was ever called ‘jumpers’, come to think of it." 
Langmead is brand and content director at 
Mr Porter, and editor-in-chief of The Times' 
quarterly Luxx magazine. 


Anton Corbijn I Getty 

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November 2016 



“Take out Gordon Ramsay 
and put in Gary Barlow.” 

“But you said you didn’t want him in!” 

“No, I didn’t. That was Ricky Gervais.” 
“Shall we swap him for Chris Morris, then?” 
“Hang on, where’s Boris gone?” 

“You definitely dropped Boris. You said 
just to do a silly thing about his hair.” 

“No, no, no. This is definitely not my final 
list. There was no Freddie Flintoff on that.” 
“There was! On the list you emailed 
us last night? Honestly. It was Andy 
Murray you got rid of, not Flintoff.” 

“Andy Murray? No, I didn’t. Fuck’s sake. 
This is doing my head in. What about 
Simon Cowell? What’s happened to him?” 
“I’ll get a print-out of that list you 
emailed us if you don’t believe me.” 

“Jesus. Well, I’ve changed my mind, haven’t 
I? I’m allowed to change my mind. Take out 
Gordon Ramsay and put in Gary Barlow.” 
“Really? Gary Barlow?” 

“Oh, all right then, maybe not. 

I don’t know. I can’t go through this 
again. This is not a job for a grown 
man. Put back Simon Cowell.” 

“Simon... Cowell... back... in! But 
you’ll have to drop someone else.” 

“I just did! Gordon Ramsay!” 

“No, Gordon Ramsay and someone else. 
Because you put Gary Barlow back in. 

That’s 26, even without Gordon Ramsay.” 
“Shouldn’t it be Heston 
Blumenthal anyway, if we’re 
doing cooks? Oh, whatever.” 

“Good news is the Sacha Baron Cohen 
interview’s happening today in LA.” 

“Sacha Baron Cohen? We can’t have 
him! That’s too many comedians. 

We’ll have to drop Steve Coogan!” 

“But you told us to approach him 
for a What I’ve Learned. We can’t 
cancel it now. It’s way too late.” 

“God, this is such a nightmare.” 

“Why don’t you just drop Chris Morris? 

No one remembers him anyway.” 

“No one remembers Chris Morris? Without 
Chris Morris there wouldn’t be any Ali 
bloody G. Or Steve Coogan. Or any of 
them. I’m not dropping him, that’s final. 
Take out Russell boring Brand instead.” 
“But we’ve got that amazing photo 
of him dressed as Bin Laden.” 

“I don’t care. Take him out. He 
was rubbish, anyway.” 

“Alex, can I just say something? And 
don’t get angry. This list is way too 
Nineties. It’s like, ‘Who was most famous 
in 1997? Make a list. Publish it.’” 

“Yeah? Because it would be so much 
better if it was, like, Harry Styles and 
the dipshits off Peep Show or whatever 
you lot watch, wouldn’t it?” 

“Er, I think Peep Show ended about 
three years ago? And what I’m 
saying is it wouldn’t hurt to have 
a few people under 40 on there.” 

“Harry Potter! He’s under 40.” 

“What about James Corden? He’s young.” 

“I seriously can’t take this. If anyone 
suggests another comedian I’m 
scrapping the whole thing. Who the 
hell cares if it’s our birthday, anyway? 

Even I don’t care, and I work here!” 

“I think it’s a bit late now to 
junk the whole thing.” 

“I’m telling you now, this is the last time 
I’m discussing this. Let’s go through it 
again, for the final time, and then that’s it.” 
“OK, what list are you going off?” 

“My bloody list. The list I made!” 

“OK. I’ll write these down and this will 
be the definitive list and then we won’t 
bother you about it ever again. Promise.” 
“Right, good. OK. Sorry for 
shouting but, I mean...” 

C gZiPis tu c-ec 7^ 



“That’s OK.” 

“OK. Good. So: Clarkson. Absolutely 
nailed on. Yes. He has to be there.” 
“Clarkson, that’s one.” 

“Damien Hirst... Damien 
Hirst... Damien Hirst?” 

“Will’s already filed his piece 
on Damien Hirst.” 

“OK, Damien Hirst is in. That’s two.” 


“Noel and Damon. Yep.” 

“That’s four.” 

“How do you work that out?” 


“That’s not four. It’s three. They count as 
one entry, we’re doing them together.” 
“Noel and Damon count as one entry?” 
“Don’t argue with me about it! It’s the 
same thing as William and Harry.” 
“William and Harry count as one entry?” 
“Yes, they do!” 

“So Clarkson, Damien, Noel and 
Damon makes... three?” 

“Yes, exactly. Just write this down, OK. 
Chris Morris, yes. The Day Today. 

Fucking epic.” 

“Alex, I hate to tell you this, but that 
means you’ve got Chris Morris, Ricky 
Gervais, Steve Coogan, Sacha Baron 
Cohen, the Little Britain guys...” 

“No, I haven’t, because I’m starting from 
the bloody beginning again, aren’t I?” 
“OK, I’m just warning you. . .” 

“Right, that’s it. Forget everything 
I said. I can’t spend all day on this 
shit. I’ve got a lunch in a minute.” 

“Take out Gary Barlow then?” 

“Take out Gary Barlow with a sub- 
machine gun, for all I care.” 

“And Gordon Ramsay?” 

“Yeah, him, too. Dispose of the lot of them. 
Terminate with extreme prejudice.” 
“Right, OK. But if you are counting 
William and Harry as one, we’re 
still about three or four short.” 

“Well, just put back some of the 
ones you made me take out.” 

“Like who?” 

“I don’t bloody know. Jarvis 
Cocker? Jamie Oliver?” 

“Another chef?” 

“Not Jamie Oliver, then. Jarvis Cocker 
and Jarvis Cocker’s maths teacher.” 

“Fine. OK. I can see this is going nowhere. 
How’s the Blair piece going, by the way?” 

“Oh, bugger off, will you?” □ 





• AftSOU 'TF * 








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Joe McKendry 


AA Gill is Esquire’s 



This month, our admiral of advocacy imparts some cold, hard 
facts to an over-adventurous soul 


I make no apologies, I find the familial, honorific “uncle” embar- 
rassing and, frankly, over-foreign. I don’t think we are related 
and I can’t imagine that you’re from a naval family. I’m writing 
a number of these final letters at the moment, trying to map a 
course through posterity that I’ve been unable to find in life, and 
I thought it might be sensible to drop you a little instructive mis- 
sive. Let me introduce myself: I am Captain Robert Falcon Scott 
RN, deceased (well, shortly will be). In all future correspond- 
ence I wish to be referred to as Scott the Intrepid, Scott the Moral 
Discoverer of the Pole, The Great Scott, or Scott of the Antarctic. 

I’m lying in a very small tent and I can’t feel my feet, which 
is probably a good thing as they’ve turned a disgusting colour. 
The other two are already dead and I’ve buttoned them up in 
their bags. Oates, of course, typically, went off to die al fresco, 
leaving me with his last words: “I am just going outside and 
I may be some time.” Which is a bit of a mimsy final utterance, 
only to be expected from a cavalry officer. I pass it on without 
comment. I did suggest something heroic like, “I’m going to 
find help” or, “I’m going to face death standing up, at attention 
with my fists up,” but he wasn’t having it. 

I understand that you write in a periodical for young men, 
and I’m sure you’re on the constant lookout for role mod- 
els and heroes to hold up to impressionable chaps as stars by 
which they might guide their youthful, energetic lives. I can 
think of no finer example than myself. As I lie here virtually 
dead, I look back at my life and can think of nothing more 
moving and inspiring than a committed amateur armed with 
no more than a pinch of pluck and some English derring-do, 
setting out to walk to an arbitrary point at the far end of the 
Earth, leading a group of jolly fine chaps who look up to me 
with undimmed adoration and trust to take them to glory, 

I’m sure you’re on constant lookout for 
heroes to hold up to impressionable chaps. 
I can think of no finer example than 
myself, Captain Robert Falcon Scott 

which I would modestly suggest I have. We are the proudest of 
all English types: public school dabblers who struggle against 
infeasible odds and then fail, proving that any Hans, Abdul or 
Ting-Ting can win but it takes a certain brand of Englishman 
to come second with good grace, aplomb and a shrug. In our 
case, we’re so chilled, we’ve given ourselves frostbite. You can 
use that if you like. So, I suggest you get on and offer me and 
my team up as bloody marvellous examples of English pluck, 
nerve and committed amateurism. I would suggest a cover pic- 
ture of me looking resolutely into the future. And why don’t 
you instigate a Scott Memorial Award for young thrusters who 
go and do really exciting things but don’t quite win in the end? 

OK, I can tell death has got up to my chin so I must sign off. 

I think my last words will be, “Better luck next time.” 

Scott the Moral Discoverer of the Pole 

PS: Could you start a petition to get the Antarctic renamed 
Scottland or perhaps Greater Scottland. Or how about 
Scottland the Brave? > 



Dear Robert Falcon, 

I’ve always thought that the Falcon name was touchingly pro- 
phetic as your son will grow up to be an ornithologist, conserva- 
tionist and painter of birds. Well, it’s taken some time for your 
letter to get here but you’re still buried in the slowly shifting 
ice of Antarctica. They say you’re probably encased 75ft down, 
moving slowly towards the sea. In a century or so, you will calf 
into an iceberg, which would be a Wagnerianly suitable send- 
off. I like to think of you as a sort of amateur English superman, 
cryogenised, waiting for the empire’s call to return and cock it 
up all over again. In saying that, I must also admit that you epit- 
omise the sort of Englishman I would hate my sons to grow up 
to be: an insecure, chippy, quick to take offence, slow to take 
advice chap; always ready to blame and to take credit. Actually, 
your last words were a scrawled, “For God’s sake look after our 
people,” the handwriting falling off the page. It was a constant 
concern of yours. You write it earlier, in a letter to the nation. 
Your father, a brewer, lost all his money and you’d been support- 
ing your mother and sister on a junior officer’s salary; probity 
and cash were your abiding concerns. 

It would be unkind to say you killed all your party, includ- 
ing poor Oates, but you certainly didn’t help. You were reck- 
less, pig-headed and expected others to come and dig you out 
of the snow. I’m not going to commend you to today’s young, 
mostly because they would laugh at me. And they’re quite 
capable of finding their own role models. Though I am reluc- 
tantly going to wave the Richard Curtis magic wand over your 
story so that we can apply the Great British Creator of Happy 
Endings to your tragic one. Curtis is after your time but, trust 
me, you’re in good hands. And this is just short and sweet: 

You are the type of Englishman I would 
hate my sons to be: insecure, chippy, 
quick to take offence, slow to take advice ; 
always ready to blame and to take credit 

Ernest Shacldeton’s Nimrod Expedition of 1907 -’o 9, after find- 
ing the Magnetic South Pole and climbing Mount Erebus, 
goes on to get to the actual Pole. He returns home even more 
of a hero, is knighted and feted. And you can go back to being 
a naval officer, already famous as an explorer, but you never 
have to go on the fatal expedition. Neither does Amundsen, 
who even all Norwegians admit was possibly the most unpleas- 
ant man ever to explore. And Shackleton makes a much bet- 
ter hero than you do. He really did look after his men, brought 
them all back safely. And he had a centre parting: anyone who 
can carry off a short haircut centre parting is a hero. Getting to 
the Pole is naught after that. 

What is more interesting, though, is your wife and young 
son, the people you wanted the nation to look after. She was 
really amazing. You were only married for a few years, but she 
was friends with JM Barrie, Bernard Shaw, the Bloomsbury 
Group, she went to the Slade and was a very good sculptor, 
studied under Rodin — and we must assume did a lot of wrig- 
gling under Rodin as well — most lady artists did. She was all 
the things that you weren’t. Apparently she shagged Nansen, 
another Norwegian explorer, while you were making snow- 
men. The statue of you in London is by her. It must have been 
odd making a larger-than-life model of your dead husband who 
spent your short marriage consumed with getting away from 
you to go and do ridiculous bits of Boy’s Own showing off, leav- 
ing you with an infant who’d never know his father. The real 
hero of the Antarctic was Kathleen Scott. Go to see the Scott 
statue in Westminster and think of her. □ 

Email questions for AA Gill to 

For more 
AA Gill, goto 



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Will Self 



Each month, Will Self evaluates a significant part of the male anatomy. 
Here, he touches upon the skin we live in, warts and all 

“Perfect Skin” is a 1984 hit by Scots beat combo Lloyd 
Cole and The Commotions: a fairly conventional indie-bluesy- 
ditty charting the sexual adventures of a young North Briton. 
Cole prettily whines, “She’s got cheekbones like geometry and 
eyes like sin / And she’s sexually enlightened by Cosmopolitan”; 
not that he’ll benefit, because, “My eyes go out in vain / For her 
perfect skin”. Yet who among us cannot admit that our eyes have 
gone out in vain for this or that or 1,000 other perfect skins? Yes, 
while some objectifying soulless bastards may proudly proclaim 
themselves to be “leg-men” or “breast-men” or even — heavens 
to Betsy! — “arse-men”, it can be asserted without fear or favour 
that we are all, every last man-jack of us, skin-men. 

All lovemaking is skin stroking and as any fool knows, to 
make leisurely love, preferably in the afternoon, and then lie 
skin-to-skin with someone you really wouldn’t mind queuing 
alongside for a rail-replacement bus service on a rainy winter’s 
night in Luton, is the summit of an ordinary mortal’s existence. 
This being noted, how odd it is that when we do finally manage 

to reach this moment of repletion, there’s always a niggling 
doubt: is this skin — my skin, her skin/his skin, our skin — is 
it... well, is it perfect? Did I not notice a blemish that might — 
just might — have been a whitehead, or even a nascent plooker, 
when I did that to her/him, there, with this...? (Our reverie, 
unbidden, progresses...) While as for me, I know perfectly well 
perfection eludes me — there are those scars down there, and 
those odd warty-things up there, not forgetting the patch of dry 
and flaking dermis the size of Nebraska which has been fester- 
ing between those for some time now... 

To almost all of the above I can willingly assent: my skin is 
not, has not, and indeed never could’ve been perfect, any more 
than anyone else’s. I say “almost”, because desiccation is not my 
problem — really. When a salesperson thrusts a new moisturiser 
in my face I say, “I do not know you, for my skin is of the oily kind 
— the very oily kind.” I can only imagine I get this oily — and, 
once the sun gets to it, olive — covering from the Jewish side of 
the family. My father’s people went a regulation Anglo-puce in > 


Will Self 

I’ve been in hallucinogenic 
states of such ugly intensity I’ve 
experienced my entire skin as 
an itch, which, if scratched 
would peel away altogether 

the sun, burned then peeled, but my mother was frankly beige, 
while my uncle Bob had the teak, graven and well-lubricated 
look of a cigar store Indian. On the plus side, there’s no expend- 
iture on dumb unguents, including sunscreen, but the down- 
side is vertiginous: dear reader, I turned 55 this year, and in 
economically more certain times, had I personally been a great 
deal more providential, I might’ve been able to retire; I would 
then have been a pensioner who — gulp! — regularly squeezes 
whiteheads and blackheads out of his oily old face. I’d also have 
become a pensioner who still, from time-to-time, experiences 
one of these little excrescences growing overnight with mush- 
room alacrity, until — goaded upright at dawn by my bladder — 
I witness this hideous anachronism in the mirror: a plooker of 
exactly the same kind that marred the clear complexion of my 
otherwise perfect puberty. 

Yes, I’ve had the temerity to say it out loud: you still get acne 
when you’re old! Every year I expected the effects of ageing to 
edge-out these juvenile blemishes, but no; instead, by sagging 
and pleating, my skin has simply increased the area available 
to be spotty. I blame my old man, for surely this is something 
a father should do for a son, just as he should take you out to 
hunt your first wild animal after savagely biting off your 
prepuce. He should’ve taken me aside and warned me: 

“Heed not the siren song of Lloyd Cole, my son, not only 
is there no such thing as perfect skin, but you yourself, 
once two-score years have elapsed, will still be contrib- 
uting healthily either to the profits of Reckitt Benck- 
iser, the current owner of the Clearasil brand, or its 
successors. Yes, my dear, dear foolish son, dream not 
of a smoothly shaven cheek sliding sensually along an 
inner thigh of dew-fresh purity and succulence, but of 
a raddled and lumpy jowl being vigorously abraded by 
stubbly leg!” 

It could be my genes — or very possibly it’s a curse. My 
poor brother had dreadful acne as an adolescent and had to 
paint his mush up with vile-smelling potassium perman- 
ganate every night before bed. At breakfast I’d sit opposite 
him, absorbing the medicinal stench and endeavouring 
not to look into the atrocity exhibition of his face. “Oh, 
my God!” I’d occasionally cry — heaping on the torture 
— “It looks like the Grand Canyon at sunset!” Yet now, while 
his doggy visage is no longer spotted, my own muzzle remains 
a pustulant puzzle, one which he scrutinises carefully on the 
rare occasions we meet, a sinister smile playing around his 
well-moisturised and smooth lips. 

There is beautiful matte-black skin — so black it seems to 
absorb the sunlight — and there’s drinkably delicious cafe-au- 
lait skin, topped off with a froth of decolletage. I have known 

pale skins — so pale they’re translucent, such that one peers 
through them into a sensual sea full of writhing veins and 
threshing arteries. The skin is the biggest of our organs: a liv- 
ing, breathing, whole-body shrink-wrap that’s loosened a little 
bit more whenever the music of time stops. I’ve been in hallu- 
cinogenic states of such ugly intensity I’ve experienced my 
entire skin as an itch, which, if scratched would peel away alto- 
gether... Because we sense this, don’t we, even as we stroke and 
palp and pinch our beloved, and she (or he) strokes and palps 
and pinches us: we apprehend the awful truth that our skin is 
all that stands between us and complete dissolution. With it we 
may well be imperfect — but without it, we’re just a puddle on 
the floor. □ 



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We love Codices , the ancient messengers of Art and Culture. 

Illuminated page from “Pantheon” by Godfrey of Viterbo, Italy, 1331 




Style / List 


B Jordan 

The Creed star fights his 
corner for classic high- 
tops, Californian wine 
and a vintage ’Stang 

It’s been a steady rise for 
Michael Bakari Jordan since 
coming to prominence in the role 
of 16-year-old street hustler 
Wallace in The Wire back in 2002. 
One critically adored TV drama 
clearly wasn’t enough, however, 
as he went on to appear in Friday 
Night Lights and Parenthood, 
before moving into cinema with 
starring roles in Fruitvale Station 
(2013) and The Fantastic Four 
(2015). Last year, he cemented 
his place in the Hollywood 
firmament with the lead role of 
Adonis Johnson in Rocky spin- 
off, Creed. So, he has acting talent 
in buckets and also, as you’ll 
discover on the following page, 
a discerning eye for style. 

Grey cotton suit, £1,195, by 
DSquared2. Grey cotton 
shirt, £240, by Jil Sander. 
Brown calf leather shoes, 
£695, by Christian Louboutin 
Homme. Stainless steel Polo 
S watch, £8,650, by Piaget 

Photographs by David Urbanke 


Style / List 

Blue denim jacket, £60, 
by Zara. Blue flannel shirt, 
£365, by Fear of God. 
Black cotton sweatshirt, 
£195, by Coach. Bleached 
blue denim jeans, £140, by 
Neuw. Watch, as before 

Food and drink 

Wine: Anything from Long Meadow 
Ranch, St Helena, California. 

Spirit: Don Julio 1942 Anejo Tequila. 
Beer: Ginger beer. 

Soda: Ramune. 

Dish: This is the hardest question on 
this list... it’s my family’s secret recipe 
chilli and cornbread. 

Snack: Warm butter cake at Mastro’s 
in Los Angeles. 

Restaurant: Postmates on-demand 
delivery. Haha. 

Bar: Noble, New York. 

Club: Hyde Lounge in Los Angeles; 
Haus in New York. 


Watch: Piaget Polo S. 

Pen: No 2 pencil [HB in UK]. 
Suitcase: Coach duffel bag. 

App: WhatsApp. 

Gadget: iPhone Smart Battery Case. 


Phone: iPhone. 

Tablet: iPad. 

Laptop: MacBook Pro. 

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III. 
Sound system: Stelle Audio. 
Car: 1967 Ford Mustang. 


Style icon: A$AP Rocky, I think his 
style is dope. 

Fictional icon: Apollo Creed or 
Son Goku. 

Artist: Hebru Brantley. 

Musician: In no particular order, 
Kendrick [Lamar], J Cole, Drake. 
Film star: Tom Cruise. 

Writer: Ryan Coogler. 

Instagram account: My own, 


Hometown: Newark, New Jersey. 
Destination: Everywhere. 

Hotel: Bulgari, London. 

Shop: American Rag. 


Fragrance: Paco Rabannel Million. 
Toothpaste: Crest 3D White. 
Moisturiser: Aveeno. 

Shower gel: Dove body wash. 

Face wash: Aveeno facial scrub. 
Hair product: Shea Moisture. 
Barber: Jove Edmond. 


Bed linen: High-ass thread count. 
Pet: Belgian Malinois. Or an octopus. 
Kitchen gadget: Vitamix blender. 


Jeans: Neuw. 

Shoes: Christian Louboutin. 
Sneakers: Air Jordan 1 Retro 
High OG Bred. 

Suit: Givenchy or Louis Vuitton. 
Tuxedo: Ralph Lauren Purple Label. 
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban. 

Wallet: John Varvatos. 

Underwear: Calvin Klein boxer briefs. 


Styling: Jeff Kim for The Wall Group I Grooming: Kumi Craig for The Wall Group I Getty I See Stockists page for details 








Words by Charlie Teasdale I Hearst Studios I Getty I See Stockists page for details 

Style / Grooming 

01 / 


EXFOLIATOR: Exfoliating Pore 
Refiner: Perricone MD 

The Pore Refiner has natural 
ingredients such as green tea, 
turmeric, olive leaf and cress sprouts 
(yes, cress sprouts) that boost 
antioxidant production in the skin. 

IVnicoiH- MI ) 


^foliating pore refine* 
exfoliant affineur 


I-* N8 mL / 4 fl 02 

Brush Up 



How to stand the test of time 

“If I could get back my youth,” reflects Lord 
Henry Wotton in The Picture of Dorian Gray, 

“I’d do anything in the world except get up early, 
take exercise or be respectable.” Thankfully, 
there are other ways to resist the ravages of time. 

“Starting early with a good skincare regime is 
key to minimising some of the effects of ageing,” 
advises dermatologist Dr Alexis Granite. “An 
ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 
She also suggests nailing the basics first: broad- 
spectrum SPF protection and daily skin 
hydration via an adequate moisturiser. But 
if you really want to ward off those wrinkles, 
your next step should be products that promote 
collagen (the protein that provides strength 
and structure to skin) and antioxidants (these 
combat the airborne free radicals that cause 
ageing of the skin). We’ve ticked off the top 
treatments, diet and lifestyle changes needed 
for you to stay forever young. 

MOISTURISER: Klehl’s Age Defender 

Super lightweight and easily absorbed, 
Kiehl’s Age Defender Moisturiser 
features adenosine, which builds 
collagen in the skin to keep fine 
lines and wrinkles at bay. 


MASK: Lab Series Detox Clay Mask 

This bright royal blue mask detoxifies 
the skin, unclogs the pores and helps 
to clean away pollutants. All in all, it’s 
the perfect prep for a beat-those- 
wrinkles regime. 


ANTI-POLLUTANT: Aesop Parsley 
Seed Anti-Oxidant Hydrating Cream 

A blend of parsley seed, white tea and 
rock rose creates a free radical-beating 
formula that acts as a barrier on the skin. 
It’s also packed with antioxidants. 


SERUM: Fit SPF 50 Serum for men 

According to Fit Skincare, daily 
sunscreen use slows skin ageing by 
24 per cent, which makes its new SPF50 
Sun Protect Serum - a first for men - a 
crucial aspect of your grooming process. 
£35/100ml > 

Illustrations by Robbie Porter 


Style / Grooming 

02 / 


Valmont Facial for Men at 
The Dorchester Spa 

Super-moisturising and 
fatigue-fighting, the Valmont 
Facial at The Dorchester 
uses powerful products and 
massage techniques to 
bring the skin back to life. 
From £80, 

Radio Frequency Facial by 
Dr Frances Prenna Jones 

In one of the best non-invasive 
treatments available, a thermal 
radio frequency wand is moved 
over the face — heating skin cells, 
promoting collagen production 
and firming the skin to boot. 

Age Rebel Face Treatment at 
ESPA Life, Corinthia 

Including a steam, deep brush 
cleanse, enzyme peel, facial 
masque and toning masque 
— this 90-minute treatment helps 
to reduce fine lines and instantly 
leaves the skin feeling 
refreshed and invigorated. 



Sarah Ann 
food for 

Sweet potato 

A superfood for the 
skin, sweet potatoes 
contain high levels of 
beta-carotene. As a 
precursor of vitamin 
A, beta-carotene 
helps the body 
combat harmful 
free radicals. 

Green tea 

Packed with 
polyphenols and 
powerful catechins, 
green tea prevents 
free radicals from 
harming healthy 
skin cells. 


With plenty of 
lycopene (a bright 
red carotene and 
carotenoid pigment), 
tomatoes can limit 
oxidative damage of 
the skin caused by 
sun exposure and 
air pollutants. 


Scoring high in 
omega-3 fatty 
acids, this nut not 
only lessens skin 
but also promotes 
collagen production 
within the skin. 

04 / Lifestyle 

Cut the fags 

Apparently, research has shown that 
smokers look 1.4 years older than 
non-smokers. What is certain is that 
smoking deprives the skin of oxygen 
and impedes blood flow to the face. 

Goto bed 

Sleep deprivation is often linked with 
accelerated ageing: just one night of 
i bad shut eye can hamper the skin's 
• elasticity. Aim for between seven and 
eight hours a night - news just in! 

Get out of the city 

The air in urban areas is often full of 
free radical-loaded pollutants from 
traffic fumes. These radicals can 
break down the collagen in your skin. 


Style / Fashion 




Are designers pulling the wool 
over our eyes with ragged, 
distressed knitwear? 

Do you like melange? You’re 
probably thinking yes; especially with 
strawberries and cream. But I’m not 
talking about a challenge on The 
Great British Bake Off. Melange, 
not meringue, is — and forgive me if 
you knew this already — an item of 
knitwear made from yarns that are 
dyed different colours, or different 
yarns in different colours. Melange, 
as well as marled knitwear, is very 
fashionable this autumn. 

In fact, knitwear altogether is 
having a huge renaissance. It’s not 
a surprise we’re switching to sweaters 
now that the weather has taken a turn 
(that’s what old people say for when it 
gets colder), but the styles of knitwear 
available to men today have become 
a lot more adventurous. 

You have the trend for the 
aforementioned melange knitwear, 
which fashion people will tell you adds 
texture to an outfit. Not many of us 
head to the shops looking for texture on 
a Saturday afternoon, but the melange 
jumpers around at the moment do 
make a sweater appear more 
interesting, an outfit less bland, and 
conjure up aspects of the rural look 
— tweeds, cords, gilets — that is very 
popular. I’ve already invested in a few 
and now happily look like a presenter 
on Countryfile (try those by Kingsman, 
Helbers or Solid Homme). 

The other big trend at the moment 
is the big, old, battered sweater 
reminiscent of the ones you wore in 
your slightly grubby, gothy youth; ones 
that stretched to your knees, hung past 
your hands and tended to have a few 
fag burns dotted around. You’d imagine 
Kristen Stewart wears them at the 

Natty knits 
forA/W ’16 

Grey military- 
stitched wool, 
£830, by Lanvin 

Off-white laddered 
wool, £695, by 
JW Anderson 

Bottle green 
distressed wool, 
£430, by Raf Simons 

weekend, but don’t let that put you off. 
Raf Simons has designed great bottle 
green ribbed sweaters with artfully 
frayed and uneven hems and insignia 
badges on the sleeves and chest. The 
idea is that the item looks as if you’ve 
owned it for ages — all part of the trend 
— and yet still reassuringly costs 
a fortune as it’s made from virgin wool. 

Of course, paying £430 for 
a sweater that looks as if it’s seen 
better days is a bonkers notion but a) 
we like the fashion world being a bit 
bonkers, and b) there is something 
comforting and attractive about this 
trend. Perhaps — and forgive me for 
being a tad philosophical here — in 
a world that’s in turmoil, the idea of 
escape, nesting and old staples 
becomes more attractive. 

I have a few items of knackered 
knitwear on my wish-list. Lanvin has 
a lovely grey waffle-knit sweater that 
looks as if someone carelessly scissored 
out the hole at the top to fit your head 
through; JW Anderson has an inviting- 
looking chunky, oversized camel 
alpaca and wool sweater with slit cuffs 
and frayed tears dotted around it (one 
calls this look distressed, apparently). 

While a new Italian brand I’m fond of 
(called Isabel Benenato) has a sweater 
that looks as if it’s made from bits of 
three old knits made into one by 
someone a little short-sighted. 

I suspect I’ve not made the above 
sound too tempting, but check them out 
and you will see what I mean. A big, old, 
distressed knit, worn over some slim- 
fit Frame denim jeans, or a pair of 
John Elliott sweatpants teamed with 
sneakers or boots, can be a joy to wear. 

It does take you back to a carefree 
youth of student bars and lager drunk 
from plastic beakers (Withnail and I 
meets The Breakfast Club); it is also 
reminiscent of the whole early Nineties 
grunge movement. It’s the ideal outfit to 
wear for a night in the pub, or to snuggle 
on the sofa and watch Strictly Come 
Dancing (quite a hot line-up for this 
series). And if you think some of the 
prices of the items I’ve mentioned above 
are steep, then head to the high street 
for good alternatives — especially at 
Zara, J Crew and Club Monaco. 

Although, as my mother always 
points out when shopping: why pay less 
when you can pay more? I’m never quite 
sure whether she’s joking. □ 


Getty I See Stockists page for details 

OSirtii A.r- total#* 

Bell (£) Ross 

A E R □ G T 

BR03 AEROGT CHRONOGRAPH • Bell & Ross UK: +44(0) 2076 291 558 • Boutique: Units 48 - 49 Burlington Arcade • W1J OQJ • London • e-Boutique: 







1 L fi ! A 

■ 1 1 MI 1* 

•« • * 

Style / Cars 



This Huracan isfmished in 

the colours of Japan in matte 
white with red stripes to 
emphasise the sport line. 

Make your marque 

Now your new Lamborghini can be completely personalised, inside and out 



Style / Cars 

Lamborghini have 
found that most 
requests focus on 
seats, cabin and 
driver’s controls 

-=> What’s better than owning 
a Lamborghini? Helping to 
actually design one to your own 
bespoke specification, of course. 

“Obviously we already make 
desirable cars but our customers 
want to make them even more 
unique,” explains Vittorio 
Gabba, head of Lamborghini’s 
newly expanded Ad Personam 
Studio. He works with its 
customers on everything from 
small tweaks such as logo 
stitching or a personalised 
signature on the interior to, 
at the other extreme, a brand- 
new colour combination or 
the complete reworking of the 

interior with different types 
of leather and trim. 

About 40 per cent of new 
customers choose a bespoke 
option of some kind, which is 
available for both the Huracan 
and Aventador, and that number 
is growing. The majority of these 
personalisations tend to focus 
around the seat, where the driver 
spends nearly all his or her time 
after all, the steering wheel, and 
exterior details such as wheel 
colour, which obviously create 
a big visual impact and that 
all-important “exclusive” touch. 

At the other end of this 
spectrum, one Australian 

customer requested a black, 
white and red theme throughout 
with different coloured sections 
and motifs inside and out, while 
a customer from the Middle East 
wanted additional gold logos 
fixed to his car’s exterior. 

“We try to satisfy the 
individual’s request as long 
as they don’t upset the image 
of the brand, so we try to guide 
the customers,” says Gabba. 

Given the extra manual 
factory work required, these 
custom jobs can add as much as 
€100,000 (£86,000) to that final 
bill. The desire for uniqueness 
comes at a price. 

Flaunt your 
personality: three 
more bespoke deals 


Coachbuilder Mulliner 
creates the personal desires 
of Bentley owners. Upgrades 
include one-off paints and 
wood, GT seats, fridges, 
scent atomisers, secret 
compartments and LEDs to 
illuminate entry and exit. The 
Queen’s state limousine is 
an Arnage rebuilt by Mulliner, 
which says it all. 


The firm’s Tailor-Made option 
offers three collections 
inspired by Ferrari’s high- 
performance DNA: Scuderia 
(referencing racing history), 
Classics (based on its iconic 
GTs) and Inedita (innovative). 

At the Maranello factory, 
a personal designer will steer 
you through the infinite trim, 
add-on and finish choices. 

Jaguar Land Rover 

Opened this summer just 
outside Coventry, JLR's 
£20m Special Vehicle 
Operations centre is a 
conversion workshop built to 
“fulfill the wildest dreams of 
our drivers”, whether that’s 
hyper-tuning a Jag F-Type for 
blistering speed, or beefing 
up a Range Rover Sport for 
supreme off-road wallop. ; 


Words by Will Hersey and Brendan Fitzgerald 



shop at 



The World's First 

Introducing the world’s first cursed chronograph movement. 

Once again. Bulova adds to its long history of firsts with the CURV watch. 

A History of Firsts 


Style / Tech 

1/ Stephen 
Hawking’s Pocket 

A beautifully 
illustrated guide 
to topics including 
space-time, black 
holes and the 
expanding universe. 

3/ Swapshots: 

- Post Your Prints 

Royal Mail leaps 
into the 20th 
century with its first 
consumer app, 
allowing you to snail 
mail hard copies 
of photos. 



5 / Next Lock 

Lets you see your 
calendar, missed 
calls, texts and 
control your music 
player, without 
having to unlock 
your phone. 


7/ War Tortoise 

Sadly, you don't 
control an actual 
reptile, but the next 
best thing: a heavy 
tank tooled up with 
rocket launchers in 
this shoot ’em up. 


9/Shake-lt Alarm 

Scream at your 
phone or repeatedly 
tap the off button or 
shake it into silence 
with this alarm app. 
Set it to random for 
a truly terrible start 
to the day. 



11 /Open Bar! 

Simple flat shapes 
and soft colours 
add to the charm of 
this cocktail-based 
puzzle game. 


The 50 best apps of 2016... far 

2 /OverDrive 

A global e-library. 
Borrow eBooks 
and audiobooks 
from 30,000 
libraries worldwide. 
They’re “returned” 


4/ NBA Live 

Mobile version of 
the basketball 
game that allows 
you to play5-on-5 
action, as well as 
connect with the 
NBA in live events. 


6 /WRIO Keyboard 

WRIO = Write It 
Once. Reimagined 
bigger (and 
shaped) keyboard 
that claims up to 
70 per cent faster 
typing speed. 




Climb your way up 
by competing in 
tournaments in this 
20-year-old Amiga 
“arcade classic” 



10 /Adobe 
Photoshop Fix 

Make like a glossy 
fashion mag and 
retouch your photos 
with “smooth”, 
“lighten”, “liquefy", 
“defocus", plus 
many other fixes. 

12/ Viridi 

Race against time, 
test your wits and 
stay cool under 
pressure: all things 
you don’t need to do 
as you tend plants 
in this soothing 



U w 










13 /Punch Club 

Rocky- referencing 
fighting game 
where you manage 
a boxer through 
a series of local 
matches, while 
also tracking 
down a killer. 


15 /Cardboard 

Create 360° 
images that you 
can view in VR 
using Google’s 
Cardboard headset. 
You can also share 
pics with friends. 

17/ Batman: 



Some say this 
represents a 
franchise nadir, but 
this app conversion 
is a faithful take with 
Bat-action aplenty. 


19 /The New 
Yorker Today 

updating feed of 
everything The New 
Yorker produces 
-podcasts, videos, 
cartoons, articles 
— all in one place. 



Text-based zombie 
survival game set 
on an island. The 
unsettling action 
unfolds in black, 
white and 
(naturally) red. 

23 / Letterboxd 

Keep a diary of 
the films you’ve 
watched, compile 
lists then share via 
social media with 
this exquisitely 



Irritate contacts 
with this message 
add-on that lets you 
annotate their 
misspelled words 
in a handwritten red 
teacher’s font. 


“Untappd - 
Discover beer”! 
Social media app 
that encourages 
you to find new craft 
beers and bars, 
then share them 
with buddies. 



18 /Wolfgang 

Members nominate 
podcast subjects, 
then vote on what 
gets made in this 
inspired radio 
platform backed by 
George Lamb and 
Rick Edwards. 



20 /Barrel 

Bring your iPhone 
lock screen “to life” 
by customising it 
with HD video 
wallpapers of either 
your own content, or 
someone else’s. 

22 /Layout From 

Create collages, 
resize, mirror, flip 
and tile up images 
from your camera 
tool with this 
app for Instagram. 


24 /Calendars 5 

This daily planner 
and task manager 
features “natural 
language” input, ie, 
“Dave’s birthday 
this Saturday” 
and it’ll set the 
appointment for you. 

Words by Johnny Davis Illustrations by James Pryor 


Style / Tech 





LL ' 


Connect to 
drivers, teams, 
circuits and other 
fans with this 
smartly designed 


34/ Rolo Calendar 

Calendar app that 
reimagines your 
day as a circular 
interface. Visualise 
exactly how you’re 
spending yourtime. 



Play former prime 
minister Winston 
Churchill and his 
favourite card game 
as you take on 
missions from 
his career. 



36 / Koko 

Social network 
for the stressed. 
Anonymously post 
life concerns, then 
get feedback. 
Sounds strange, 
but comes clinically 



Strategy game that 
lets you control 
magic trees 
protecting your 
land from invading 
forces, using 
minimalist pop-art 

£ 2.29 


38 /Hyperburner 

Sci-fi flight 
simulator where 
you hurtle 
your spaceship 
through a series of 
increasingly narrow, 
futuristic tunnels. 
£ 2.29 


41 /Motion 

animation is 
now possible 
on no budget with 
this app that 
utilises your 
phone’s camera. 


Track live scores 
and teams on your 
wrist. Useful for 
having a crafty 
update in situations 
where whipping 
your phone out 
isn’t possible. 



42 /Fear The 
Walking Dead: 
Dead Run 

Tactical game that 
puts you inside the 
LA familiar from the 
hit TV series, while 
you’re pursued by... 
oh, you know. 



47/ Kitchen 

Cookery app with 
photo instructions, 
videos and logical 
categories such as: 
“All-time classics”, 
“20-minute dishes”, 
and soon. 



43 /Blue Plaques 
of London 

Use GPS to follow 
in the footsteps of 
London’s famous 
residents on 
themed tours, 
while learning their 



48 /Cheatsheet 

Make a list of vital 
life details -Wi-Fi 
password, bike lock 
combination, wife’s 
birthday -and give 
each its own icon. 
Hey presto, it’s all 
there at a glance. 


25/MuvizNav Bar 
Audio Visualizer 

Why not add 
a music visualiser 
to your Android nav 
bar? Then watch 
it merrily pulse in 
time to your sounds. 


27/ Pocket Casts 

This puts Apple’s 
default app to 
shame. A podcast 
player that comes 
with a neat Ul and 
is packed with 
features you didn’t 
know you needed. 
£ 2.99 


29 / Love You 
To Bits 

Kosmo tries to 
patch things up with 
girlfriend Nova, 
literally, after her 
body is scattered 
in space. Award- 
winning puzzler. 
£ 2.99 

31 /Fallen London 

Moody, word-based 
game in which 
you must rescue 
a London that is 
“stolen by bats”. 


39 /Uncharted: 
Fortune Hunter 

Mobile version of 
popular PS game. 
Navigate hero 
Nathan Drake 
around puzzle 
boards to unlock 
keys and rewards. 


44 /Sky Force 

Compelling 3D 
makes this scrolling 
shooter one of the 
best around. Boost 
your plane with 
shields, bombs, 
guns and magnets. 


49 /Streaks 

The “workout 
anywhere” personal 
trainer that caters 
for the time-poor 
and equipment- 
free. Apple Design 
Awards 2016 winner. 
£ 2.99 




Android device 
together so you 
can share screens, 
clipboard and 



28 /Google 

With your phone’s 
camera this app 
translates text 
instantly in 29 
languages. (Type 
and that number 
increases to 103). 



Guide tiny balls 
around Rube 
Goldberg machine- 
style assault 
courses in this 
punishing 3D 
riddler. Uh-oh, 
anti-gravity hoop! 

£7 .49 


Spend more time 
with nature, albeit 
nature of the 
variety, via this 
mindfulness app. 
£ 1.49 


40 /Heuristic 
-The Tempest 

The first of 37 
apps arrives for 
400th anniversary. 
Ian McKellen and 
co lend a voice. 
£ 4.49 


45/ Appinthe Air 

Frequent flyer? Get 
airport gate and 
security wait times, 
track flights and 
even use the 
in-flight “courses” 
to do exercises and 
ward off DVT. 


0 ® 


Choose strength, 
cardio, yoga or 
stretching workouts 
lasting between 5 
and 60 minutes with 
this personalised 
video exercise app. 




As every bold diver searches for complete harmony of body, mind and water, the Diver Worldtime 
effuses unmatched harmony of design and technology. Beautifully crafted, it is the only diving watch 
to combine 24 time zones with day and date functions. Its superior micro gas light technology 
illuminates a rotating inner bezel that measures dive time up to 60 minutes. 

Built for diving enthusiasts and legends. And anyone who dares explore the depths of courage. 


Official Standard 

Since 1191 

Accuracy under adverse conditions 

www. ball watch .com 

BALL Watch UK Ltd. Tel. 0800 098 89 98 

f % 0 

$ \ IS / •£, 


Revolutionary micro gas lights 
World time display 
5.000 Gs shock resistance 
300m/1 ,000ft water resistance 
Luminous bi -direct. ona rotating inner bezel 






Andrew Michael's 

Leslie Davis 

jiwfum or otsTi«cTio« 



Allum & Sidaway Jewellers Ringwood | Hooper Bolton Fine Jewellery Cheltenham | James Moore & Co. Kenilworth 
Peter George Banks Jewellers Kendal | Stephen Hughes Fine Diamonds Swansea | S.T. Hopper Boston | Wongs Jewellers Liverpool 


The Maserati Ghibli is powered by a range of advanced 3.0 Litre V6 engines with 8-speed 
ZF automatic transmission including, a V6 turbodiesel engine. 




Official fuel consumption figures for Maserati Ghibli MY17 range in mpg ll/lOOkm): Urban 20.5 (13.81 - 36.7 17.7), Extra Urban 39.8 (7.1) - 
57.6 (4.9|, Combined 29.4 (9.6) - 47.9 (5.91. CO; emissions 223 - 158 g/km. Fuel consumption and CO* figures are based on standard EU 
tests for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. Model shown is a Maserati Ghibli Diesel MY17 at £52,725 On The 
Road including optional mica paint at £660 and 20 inch machine polished Urano alloy wheels at £2,205. 

Style / Watches 

Hot chocolate 

Shades of dark brown hit the sweet 
spot for winter’s watch colour trend 


Calatrava 6000r, 
by Patek Philippe 

37mm rose gold, 
chestnut alligator 
leather strap, 

F-80, by Ferragamo 

44mm stainless 
steel with gold IP 
treatment, brown calf 
leather and black 
caoutchouc strap, 

-> Though the Seventies brought 
us many eminently forgettable 
things — avocado bathroom 
suites, fondue sets, The 
Osmonds — it did foist one 
oft-overlooked hue to the fore: 
brown. The beauty of brown is 
versatility. Brown shoes look 
good with most things (black 
suits aside); a brown tweed 
jacket works great with jeans 
and chinos; a deep suntan goes 
with everything. Brown watches 
are equally adaptable, and right 
now there are a stack to choose 
from. A great alternative to 
classic steel or predictable blue, 
a brown watch worn with a 
classic navy suit demonstrates 
self confidence and style. 

Here’s our pick of the best. 

Photographs by Sam Hofman 


Style / Watches 





Planet Ocean 
Co-Axial Master 

h\/ Omofia 

WWl Edicion 
Limitada, by 
Bell & Ross 



Chronograph, by Rado 

Heritage Black 
Bay Bronze, 
by Tudor 

u y w 1 1 ictja 

43.5mm 18k Sedna 
gold, brown leather 
strap, £14,200 

42mm 18k red 
gold, brown 
alligator leather 
strap, £15,000 

45mm ceramic- 
stainless steel-PVD, 
ceramic bracelet, 

43mm bronze, 
aged leather strap 
with bronze buckle, 


Set design: Zena May Hendrick I See Stockists page for details 


Watch Survey 2016 


£ 5,000 

to spend on a watch 

of your choice 

from The Watch Gallery 



Timberlend, ® and Sen&orFlei are 



Style / Food 

ht by surprise 

ries? Pineapple with liquorice? John Dory 
re’s king of the kitchen Russell Norman 
asures of unlikely combinations 


-> Not so long ago I was at a dinner 
party thrown by a friend, who also 
happens to be a well-known chef. 
There is nothing quite like going to 
a professional cook’s home for supper 
— you know you’re in safe hands and 
that the last thing you need to worry 
about is the food. It’s not like that 
episode of Come Dine with Me when 
one would-be cook nearly killed his 

fellow contestants by serving them 
raw chicken. No, with a chef you can 
count on good tucker and the chances 
are you’ll be licking your plate clean 
at the end of the meal. 

On this particular evening, 
though, there was a game theme. 
Officially, this season starts on 
l September with the hunting of 
partridge (after all the grouse have 

Fish of the day: 
Russell Norman 
with two whole 
John Dory ready 
to fillet for his dish 

been obliterated on the “Glorious” 
12th of August), and continues until 
1 October, when pheasant and 
woodcock are then considered fair 
game (hence the expression). 

Everything was going swimmingly 
until a middle course of wild boar 
risotto. It sounds great, doesn’t it? But 
then I read the small print: wild boar 
risotto with cherries. Now, as a cook, > 

Photographs by Chris Leah 


Style / Food 

I’m as adventurous as the next fellow, 
and I’m well aware that there is a long 
tradition of marrying meat with fruit, 
from pork with apple sauce to duck 
with orange, and even venison with 
apricot. In hindsight. I’m pretty sure 
I’d eaten boar with cherry sauce in 
Tuscany, too, so there is a legitimate 
context and precedent. But I just 
found it odd contemplating fruit in 
a risotto. And when we ate the stuff, 

I detected a few flickers of surprise 
and bemusement around the table. 

Odd ingredients and 
surprising combinations 
can be wonderful 

Odd ingredients and surprising 
combinations, just like wild boar 
and cherries, can sometimes be 
a wonderful revelation. I remember 
raising an eyebrow when someone 
first suggested I try pineapple with 
liquorice but, oh my God, what 
a flavour combination. 

But as a traditionalist, I tend to 
play it safe and avoid anything 
surprising or controversial. When 
I see an incongruous ingredient on 
a menu or in a recipe, I’m reminded of 
the fictional character Gerald Samper, 
James Hamilton-Paterson’s appalling 
hero in the superlative comic novel 
Cooking with Fernet Branca. Samper 
is convinced of his own kitchen 
prowess and concocts, among other 
delights, “garlic ice-cream”, “mussels 
in chocolate” and his masterpiece, 
“alien pie” — a complex dish flavoured 
with smoked cat, a single drop of 

Fruits de mer: 
Norman shows 
how peppercorns 
and orange make 
an unexpectedly 
superb sauce for 
pan-fried fish 

paraffin and garnished with “a jaunty 
buzzard’s feather”. 

Which brings me to this month’s 
recipe. You’ll be glad to hear there’s 
no smoked cat; it’s actually an 
adaptation of a dish I’ve sampled 
several times at one of my favourite 
restaurants in Venice, Trattoria Corte 
Sconta. The reason it might give you 
pause, though, is the inclusion of pink 
peppercorns and orange juice, not to 
mention a slice of orange as a garnish. 

“Fish and fruit!” I hear you say. 

But the proof of the pudding is in the 
eating, as the saying goes, and this 
colourful preparation of John Dory, 
as well as being a looker, is delicious. Q 
Russell Norman is the founder ofPolpo 
and Spuntino; 

Instagram: russell norman; 

John Dory with 
pink peppercorns 

Serves 4 

• 4 fillets of John Dory 

• 1 garlic clove, very finely sliced 

• 50ml fish stock 

• 70ml orange juice 

• 50ml lemon juice 

• Small handful of pink peppercorns 

• Small handful of herbs: mint, dill, basil 
and sage (combined) 

• 4 peeled segments of orange (to garnish) 

• Extra virgin olive oil 

• Flaky sea salt 

• Ground black pepper 


1. Carefully chop the herbs, discarding any 
stalky bits. Set aside. 

2. Put two tablespoons of olive oil into a large 
shallow pan. It is important you have a lid that 
fits. Carefully lay the four fillets into the pan 
and scatter over the garlic slices. Add a good 
pinch of salt and pepper before sprinkling the 
chopped herbs over the fish. Place the pan on 
a medium heat. 

3. When the pan starts to sizzle, add the stock, 
lemon juice and orange juice, then cover with 
the lid. 

4. After no more than four minutes, remove the 
fillets and lay onto four warmed plates. Then 
turn the heat up to its highest setting, add the 
peppercorns, squashing some between your 
finger and thumb, and bubble the juices for 
a couple of minutes until they start to reduce 
and turn syrupy. 

5. Remove pan from the heat and pour the 
sauce over the fillets equally. Garnish each 
with a segment of orange before serving. 






Style / Fashion 

Dark grey wool trousers, £970 

Teal velvet blazer, £1,625; 
teal velvet trousers, £580 

Black calf-leather boots, £775 

Multicoloured wool 
blouson, £930 


Ivory/grey crepe tie, £135 

White cotton shirt, £310 

Brown acetate sunglasses, £330 

Mustard/black tweed-wool 
double-breasted jacket, £1,355 

Director’s cut 

Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier marks 15 years 
in charge with a flawless AW ’16 collection 

The continued success of Bottega Veneta, which this 
year celebrates its 50th anniversary, is down in no small 
part to the consistent brilliance of its German creative 
director, Tomas Maier. Having been at the brand’s helm 
for the past 15 years, Maier’s slouchy, off-duty aesthetic and impeccable 
attention to detail is perfectly delivered in Bottega’s AW T6 collection. 
Here, to honour Maier’s 15 years, we’ve selected 15 standout pieces from 
this anniversary collection (best avoid sharing the bowling sneakers). 

Dark grey felt hat, £325 

Black cashmere-wool coat, 


Multicoloured calf-leather bowling sneakers, £410 

Black cashmere-silk sweater, 

£1,125 Ash suede duffel bag, £2,595 


Hearst Studios I See Stockists page for details 




Onboard shower spa available on Emirates A360s 

Words by Rachel Fellows 

Style / Drinks 

the date 

Wine choices to charm 

A romantic evening calls for 
a suitably impressive bottle to 
enliven the conversation while 
setting an appropriate mood 
(and not breaking the bank). 
To help you make the right 
choice, we’ve asked some of 
London’s most knowledgable 
experts to recommend their 
date night picks for under £50. 

1 1 Rioja 2014 , 

Bodegas Exopto 

By Colin Thorne 
(Vagabond Wines) 

“Those fluent in Latin will 
have spotted ‘exopto’ 
means ‘to desire eagerly’. 
Any corollary outcomes 
from drinking this 
modern Rioja are subject 
to your usual flair, though. 
Based around Graciano, 
the most diva-like of 
grapes permitted in Rioja 
production, it rumbles 
like Lee Marvin’s voice 
after a heavy night of 
Havana cigars but, 
thankfully, smells far 
better. A solid muscular 
frame cossets the dark 
plum and berry fruit well 
before easing into a finish 
that's refined and long." 
£40/75cl uk 

2 1 Champagne Entre 
Ciel et Terre Brut NV, 
Francoise Bedel 

By Sandia Chang 
(Bubbledogs and 
Kitchen Table) 

“Its name translates as 
‘Between Heaven and 
Earth’ and the backstory 
represents love in the 
purest form, between 
mother and son: when 
Frangoise Bedel found a 
cure for her son’s illness 
in holistic medicine, she 
dedicated her life to 
making wine in the most 
organic and biodynamic 
way. One of my favourite 
Champagnes, it’s aged 
longer than most and is 
complex with notes of 
ripe autumn fruits, spice 
and toasted rye bread.” 
£42/75cl (in a case of 6), 

3 1 Kydonitsa Barrique 
2015, Ligas 
By Isabelle Legeron 
(Raw Wine) 

“Kydonitsa is a rare, 
forgotten white grape 
variety that had its heyday 
in Byzantine times. This 
homage, by the Ligas 
family from near 
Thessaloniki in northern 
Greece, is flavoursome 
with rich Med flavours 
(honey, wild herbs and 
fragrant acacia 
blossoms). Perfect on 
a winter evening, it is sure 
to bring back memories 
of summer. It’s a precious 
bottle as only one barrel 
was made (400 bottles).” 


4 1 Bannockburn Pinot 
Noir2014, Mt Difficulty 

By Charles Metcalfe 
(International Wine 

“It’s hard to get top Pinot 
Noir results away from its 
native Burgundy but New 
Zealand comes nearest. 
And this lush, black 
cherry-fruited example 
from Central Otago is 
about as seductive as 
Pinot Noir gets.” 

5 1 Puligny-Montrachet 
2014, Jacques Carillon 

Jamie Waugh 
(Fortnum& Mason) 

“A most sensual white 
wine, enough to impress 
the very finest date. Its 
deliciously toasty nose, 
with lively apple fruit and 
a long rich finish, pairs 
beautifully with oysters .” 

Photograph by Aiala Hernando 


Style / Drinks 





6 1 Vin de Pays du Gard 
Rouge 2009, 

3 En Rama Manzanilla 
Sanlucar de Barrameda 
2016, Lustau 
By Ruth Spivey 
(Wine Car Boot) 

“With a budget of up to 
£50, I’d always take two 
bottles, demonstrating 
generosity of spirit and 
enthusiasm for drinking. 
This pair reveals eclectic 
taste, good knowledge 
and love of food and 
nature. You could 
bookend the red with 
the sherry, or finish it at 
breakfast, should things 
go especially well!” 

Roc d’Anglade, £30/75cl,; 

En Rama, £l6/50cl, 

7 1 Lalama Ribeira Sacra 
2010, Dominio do Bibei 

By Emily Harman 
(Vina Lupa) 

“There is nothing quite 
like a magnum to pique 
interest. Who says bigger 
isn’t better? Lalama is 
from Ribeira Sacra in 
north-west Spain. It is 
dominated by the Mencia 
grape: medium bodied, 
with delicate aromatics, 
intense minerality, fine 
tannins. It’s pure and 
subtle, the antithesis of 
Spain’s most famous 
Riojas, Ribera del Duero 
and Priorat. A pleasure to 
drinkwith or without food, 
or even chilled.” 

8 1 Roncaglia Colli 

Fattoria Mancini 

By Michael Simms 

“Find out if your date is 
a wine buff interested in 
technical details or just 
drinking the stuff. This is 
a mid-weight, Italian dry 
white with a gently floral 
palate and zesty finish. 
Describing the stunning 
Adriatic views from the 
vineyards above Pesaro 
often leads to reminiscing 
of holidays in Italy, so it’s 
great for conversation.” 

sartoria-restaurant. co. uk 

9 1 Pays d’Oc Blanc 2012 , 

By Mark Pardoe MW 
(Berry Bros & Rudd) 

“Try something 
understated, not 
mainstream, and made 
with love. Isabelle and 
Mathieu Champart make 
wonderful wine at their 
beautifully situated farm 
southern France. I’d 
choose their white. Very 
old vine Terret gives the 
individuality: verbena, 
spring flowers and 
honeysuckle, then a 
honeyed, ripe palate and 
teasing twist of salinity 
on the finish. It unfolds 
into the second or third 
glass; always a reason to 
try a little more. A perfect 
excuse on a first date.” 



10 1 San Lorenzo Etna 
Rosso 2012, 

Girolamo Russo 

By Julia Oudill 
(Compagnie des Vins 

“I would be very surprised 
if the person I am dating 
picked something well 
known. Rather, I imagine 
something hard to find, 
a less famous appellation 
or an unknown grape; 
part of the fun and 
intrigue in wine is finding 
something new. This wine 
is made with Nerello 
Mascalese, and only 
about 500 bottles are 
produced each year. It’s 
very smooth; silky tannins 
with red cherry flavour, 
balsamic essence, sweet 
spices and tobacco.” 





67 Regent Street 
Harrods, 2 nd Floor 


SINCE 1882 

Catalin Marin I Stocksy 

Style / Travel 




You’re thinking sand dunes, 
camels and Wags. What if we 
said sublime seafood, surfing, 
parachuting and even skiing... 


Style / Travel 

As a self-confessed travel snob, a little shiver used to go down my 
spine at the mention of Dubai. “No culture,” I’d protest. “No seasons. 
No soul.” But after spending a couple of days there recently, I realise 
the place serves a purpose, namely providing nailed-on good weather 
within easy reach of the predictably miserable British winter. Soulless 
as much of the experience can be, if you know where to look (very, very 
carefully) you’ll find good, uncomplicated fun and even the odd hint 
of sophistication. In order to maintain any last vestiges of credibility 
as a travel writer, this page will self-destruct in five seconds... 

Tom Barber is a founder of the 


Adventure HQ, in the Times 
Square Center shopping mall, is 
a must for outdoor lovers, with 
top clobber for divers, kayakers, 
cyclists and walkers. Even better, 
it has a 30ft climbing wall so you 
can try out those new Red Chili 
Durango climbing-shoes that 
you’ll never, ever, wear again. 


The humbled hubris of Dubai on 
a skydive over The World, the 
vast artificial island complex 
unfinished since 2008’s financial 
crash. The blue skies make it 
an excellent place to learn to 
parachute and from 4,000ft you 
get spectacular views of a city that 
barely existed just 40 years ago. 


Despite competition from 
endless new hotels — even 
including its esteemed sister 
property on The Palm — the 
One&Only Royal Mirage 
remains the go-to hotel in 
Dubai thanks to its spacious feel, 
65 acres of lovely gardens, 
a decent beach (where the Jetty 
Lounge is great for an evening 
cocktail) and a selection of 
excellent restaurants. 
Accommodation is across three 
buildings, with families loving 
The Palace — so you’ll be in the 
sophisticated Residence & Spa. 


In a city where authenticity is in 
scarce supply, Zuma’s izakaya 
(a Japanese gastropub) cuisine is 
right on the money. Try the sliced 
seabass with salmon roe, yuzu 
and truffle oil if you’re not 
convinced. That a restaurant in 
the financial district can draw so 
many devotees is true testament 
to the high quality of its food. 

The interior — elevated ceiling, 
granite block sushi counter and 
a huge bamboo sculpture — runs 
the grub a close second. 

Al Maha desert hotel 


The Maine Oyster Bar & Grill is 
a lovingly recreated slice of 
Waspy East Coast Americana. 
The bar alone warrants an entry 
on this list (distressed brickwork; 
wide range of liquors; hirsute, 
bow-tied, hipster staff, you know 
the drill) but we’re here for the 
excellent seafood towers of 
Canadian snow crab, prawns, 
oysters and scallop ceviche. 

Even its low key location — in the 
car park around the back of the 
Hilton DoubleTree Hotel — is 
quaintly endearing, 

When in... 

Get far from the madding crowd 
while staying at the luxurious 
Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa. 
The suites at this tranquil spot in 
the Dubai Desert Conservation 
Reserve all come with their own 
private pools, from which you 
can observe Arabian oryx grazing 
nearby. Watch the camp’s daily 
falconry display to see a fine 
example of man and wild animal 
working in graceful harmony. 


Summer. It’s hotter than Hades. 


Not far from Cove Beach is the 
Dubai franchise of London’s 
Mahiki club. There’s still the 
Polynesian theme and lethal 
treasure chest cocktails, but 
fewer young Sloane Rangers. 
There’s also no VIP area or face 
control on the door, which makes 
a refreshing change, 


Dubai has constructed island 
archipelagos, a vast indoor ski 
centre, and now a surf wave. 

In the desert. At Al Ain, enjoy 
the perfect wave break of your 
choosing — low rollers, 10-footers, 
A-frames, close-outs for the pros 
— all without anyone dropping 
in on you. 


Almost every bar or restaurant in 
Dubai is amalgamated to a hotel. 
Cove Beach is on the white sand 
in front of the Jumeirah Beach 
Hotel. Order a bottle of Chateau 
Leoube rose and settle into a 
beach sofa to watch the sunset as 
the bar DJ does his finest Cafe del 
Mar impression, 

Why now? 

Because from now until April 
is the country’s camel-racing 
season and the so-called ships of 
the desert go more like shit off 
a shovel when they put their 
minds to it. If you want to know 
what happens to the losers, head 
to Switch, a restaurant that does 
a fine line in camel tenderloin. 

Get there: BA, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates all fly direct and daily to Dubai: britishairways 





ttimwearingri §4 

See Stockists page for details 

Style / Fashion 

Statement dressing is back. Right now, for office dress code, it’s about 
asserting yourself with slick tailoring. With seven styles, Thomas Pink’s 
Business Collection is leading the charge. For the young gun there’s 
the "Bulldog” with tougher-than-average buttons. For the CEO, 
there’s the “Imperial 200S”, made in the UK from superfine Italian 
two-fold cotton and fitted with mother of pearl buttons. In between are 
five further styles of varying fits, fabrics and prices. Some cannot be 
creased, others have fray-resistant collars and cuffs, and because 
it’s Thomas Pink, you know each will be up to major merger standard. 

Roll your 
sleeves up 

It’s business class all the 
way courtesy of Thomas Pink 

Photograph by Jody Todd 


Style / Health 


The hurt blocker 

All pain and no train scuppers many a sportsman but injury prevention is possible, says Tom Macklin 


Injury: Lower back/lumbar 
facet joint. 

Symptoms: Acute localised 
lower back pain with no pain 
past the buttocks. Bent 
forward, unable to stand tall. 
Causes: Poor lifting 
technique leads to increased 
lumbar extension and overuse 
of the paraspinal muscles. 
Prehab: Work with a PT on 
a bespoke gym programme 
to correct technique. Stretch 
and don’t overload the back. 
Improve desk posture at work. 
Rehab: Work on your 
movement with a physio, while 
a sports massage will release 
tension. Opt for magnesium 
baths, lower abdominal work 
and pelvic position control. 
Tip: The TriggerPoint MB5 
massage ball relieves muscle 
tension in all the areas that 
contribute to lower back pain. 


Injury: Achilles 
tendinopathies (reactive). 
Symptoms: Acute instant 
pain in the Achilles tendon. 
Causes: Overloading of the 
Achilles tendon via hill sprints 
and long-distance running. 
Bad foot posture. 

Prehab: Work with an expert 
to correct running technique. 
Stretch pre- and post-run. 
Strengthen the calf muscles 
with calf raises and buy 
specialist trainers. 

Rehab: Manage the injury via 
rest, ibuprofen, green tea and 
ice. Work with a physio on 
isometric exercises or see 
a sports podiatrist to identify 
any biomechanical problems. 
Tip: The Garmin Forerunner 
6300 tracks ground contact 
time balance, stride length 
and vertical ratio to give you 
insight into your running form. 

As all gym-goers, runners and cyclists are aware, 
a serious sports injury is a devastating blow. Knowing 
which specialist to see, getting a diagnosis (often a long 
and problematic process) and spending time away 
from the sport you love all adds to the stress. However, 
correcting poor technique and identifying its symptoms 
will help you avoid such trauma. Here, Jonathan 
Codling, a specialist musculoskeletal physiotherapist 
at Third Space, explains the best ways to prevent and 
treat four of the most common sporting injuries. 

(2 Required) 





Injury: Shoulder rotator cuff. 
Symptoms: Sharp localised 
shoulder pain and limited 
range of shoulder movement. 
Causes: Over-dominant 
chest muscles and weakness 
of the shoulder and rotator 
cuff muscles. Other causes 
include lifting heavyweights, 
bad technique and 
overloading the tendon. 
Prehab: Better technique and 
warm up. Stretch pectoral 
muscles regularly. Balance 
chest and shoulder work. 
Rehab: Directly after the 
injury use ice, ibuprofen and 
stretch. Physio work will help 
strengthen the rotator cuff 
muscles, while unstable 
shoulder weight exercises will 
increase rotator cuff activity. 
Tip: MuJo Fitness supplies 
several rehab machines that 
benefit this specific injury. 


Injury: Patellofemoral pain 

Symptoms: Pain around, 
behind or under the kneecap. 
Causes: Bad cleat 
positioning or poor saddle 
and handlebar set-up on bike. 
It could also be quad/glute 
weakness, reduced pelvis 
control, poor patella tracking, 
biomechanical problems or 
muscle tightness. 

Prehab: Regular professional 
bike fittings will ensure correct 
riding position and technique. 
Build leg muscle mass and do 
foam rolling post-exercise. 
Rehab: Work with a physio to 
strengthen quad muscles 
and improve balance on the 
injured leg. Ensure you tape 
the kneecap during recovery. 
Tip: Get your bike fitted by 
professionals such as those 
at Velorution in north London. 


Thanks to Third Space Medical: thirdspace. london/soho/medical 








Style / News 

Your month in 

H&M looks east, Tateossian looks skywards 
and Cartier looks the part in Manhattan 

Khaki cotton hooded 
coat, £200; black cotton 
sweatshirt, £35; khaki wool 
shacket, £60; black denim 
jeans, £60; orange/red 
cotton diamond print T-shirt, 
£25, all by Kenzo x H&M 


Kenzo x H&M 

High fashion hits 
the high street 

In light of its past collaborations 
with Versace, Alexander Wang 
and Balmain, H&M clearly likes 
to work with statement-making 
brands. The trend continues in 
AW T6 as the high street 
heavyweight joins forces with 
Kenzo, the Japanese-cum- 
Parisian label with a penchant 
for playful prints and colours. 
The collection features iconic 
patterns and archival prints on 
a series of T-shirts, sweats, 
outerwear and accessories. 
Highlights include the 
patterned sweaters, the black 
bomber and the mad-collared 
parka. The green leopard-print 
boilersuit might be a stretch, but 
you’ve got to love the fact it even 
exists. The collection launches 
on 3 November. 


Cartier in New York 

Fifth Avenue flagship 
reawakens in sleepless city 


It’s been two-and-a-half years since 
Cartier’s Manhattan Mansion last 
opened its doors. The boutique space 
has been expanded to four-times its 
former size, and two new floors have 
been added. Free Wi-Fi facilitates a floor 
directory and list of product highlights; 
the shopping experience has clearly 
been brought bang up to date. However, 
the early 20th-century glamour remains, 
and that, after all, is why we love Cartier. 
653 Fifth Avenue, New York; 

Diamond digs: the Oak Room in Cartier’s 
newly reopened New York Mansion 



The cuff link king 
reaches for the stars 


The meteorites that 
Tateossian (known as 
the “king of cufflinks”) 

is using elements from 
in its new Interstellar 
collection of jewellery 
started out on the moon, 
but found their way to 
Earth at some point in 
their four billion-year 
lifespans. Fragments 
of the rocks have 
now been placed into 

a series of gold and 
silver pieces, with the 
standout creation being 
these Lunar Breccia 
cufflinks, which also 
have 125 pave diamonds 
set into the bezel. Each 
piece is subtle and one 
of a kind, and about as 
luxurious as luxury gets. 

Lunar Breccia 
£15,000, by 



Style / News 

Brown leather/alligator skin 
oxford shoes; brown leather 
double monk strap shoes; brown 
leather monk strap boots, from 
£590, all from the Tramezza 
collection by Salvatore Ferragamo 
tramezza.ferragamo. com 

Black leather 
Chuck II Boots, 
£95, by Converse 

Black leather Veldt 
Gibson shoes, £420; 
burgundy leather 
Veldt derby boots, 
£425, both by Grenson 

FaLke x Liberty 

Falke has put its superior 
sock technology into a 
collaboration with London’s 
famed department store. So 
reimaginings of the house’s 
iconic print can be worn with 
your shoes all autumn. 

£28, ; 

Ferragamo made-to- 
measure Tramezza 

Each shoe in Salvatore Ferragamo’s 
Tramezza collection has leather 
between the sole and the insole, 
replacing the oft-used cork, thus 
allowing for improved softness. It takes 
a week to make a single pair. Better still, 
shoes from the range are available made- 
to-order, enabling you to choose material, 
colour and buckle finish on the oxford, 
monk strap and the double monk strap. 
Not personal enough? You can even 
have your initials etched on to the sole. 

Grenson Veldt boots 

Boots can be tricky - the line between 
too chunky and too slight is a tough one 
to tread; and consistent quality should 
always be a concern. It seems, though, 
that Grenson has nailed it with its new 
Veldts. Based on the Veldtschoen (“bush 
shoe") worn by Afrikaner soldiers in the 
Boer Wars, their Russian reindeer 
leather uppers are stitched directly 
to the commando sole, making them 
reliably waterproof. The Veldt comes 
as derby boot or Gibson shoe, with 
both available in black or burgundy. 

McQueen trainers 

The rules of modern menswear dictate 
that good trainers are just as important 
as good shoes, even in the colder 
winter months. With that in mind, cast 
your eyes over the latest creation 
from Alexander McQueen, taken 
from the AW '16 collection. Available 
in black or ivory suede, they feature 
a rubber-capped toe (handy for wet 
pavements), subtle ribbon detailing 
on the upper and a silver metal spine 
on the heel. Our tip is to wear them 
with slim dark jeans, a round-neck 
knit and a soft-shouldered blazer. 

The season’s standout socks 

Step change 

Premium new shoes from prestige labels 
mean your feet are in safe hands 

Converse Chuck II 

Following last year’s launch of the 
lighter, tougher and more comfortable 
ChuckTaylor shoe (the Chuck II), the 
smart people at Converse have 
taken customer satisfaction to a 
new level with the announcement 
of the Chuck II Boot. It has the Nike 
Lunarlon insole and non-slip tongue 
we’re now accustomed to, but its outer is 
cut from waterproof leather and lined with 
a waterproof neoprene bootie that keeps 
heat in and the elements out. It also has 
a new chunky sole to make sure there’s 
zero slippage - whatever the surface. 

Ivory suede high- 
top sneakers, 
£445, by Alexander 


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Style / Fashion 

In the past, when car-makers 
turned their hands to clothing tie-ins 
the results were garish at best, 
full of boldly coloured polo shirts 
emblazoned with oversized racing 
numbers, bonnet badges and sponsor 
logos. But with its new collection for 
autumn/winter 2016, Aston Martin 
has broken the mould. Produced 
with Hackett, the 14-piece collection 
comprises considered, understated, 
timelessly stylish outerwear, knitwear, 
shirts, trousers and accessories 

designed to look good anywhere, not 
just behind the wheel of a supercar. 

For example, the belted field jacket 
— for Esquire, the standout piece of 
the collection — is cut from supple tan 
nubuck, so it will develop a handsome 
patina as it’s worn in over the years. 

In addition, the chinos are cut slim 
(but not skinny), from cashmere 
cotton, making them exceptionally 
comfortable, while the cashmere 
knitwear is unfussy and soft. 

Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s > 

Photographs by Chris Floyd 


Style / Fashion 

chief creative officer and design director, says: “Hackett 
is a true tailoring-based brand that holds the traditional 
values of cut, material choice and a timeless nature in 
the same way Aston Martin focuses on proportion 
and beauty to produce handbuilt cars that are classics 
from their inception. We wanted an exciting capsule 
collection that would provide the perfect complement 
to a wardrobe, clothes that have an element of material- 
science luxury, and are just cool to wear.”; the Aston Martin by Hackett collection 
is also available at Hackett stores, and the Aston Martin 
flagship store on Old Bond Street, London Wi 

Tan bonded nubuck field jacket, £1,650; 
navy cashmere roll-neck, £160; 
taupe cotton-cashmere chinos, £170 

Navy laser-cut mac with removable 
down liner, £1,100; navy bonded 
merino-wool knit, £700; 
blue cashmere flannel shirt, £185; 
grey wool trousers, £170 


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Robot wars: 
Ed Harris, back to 
camera, is the 
lethal Man in 
Black in the 
new adaptation 
of Westworld 

en twe been her 




Paranoid androids: 
Thandie Newton and 
Rodrigo Santoro as 
sentient robots in the 
TV reworking of the 
1973 classic starring 
Yul Brynner, left 

-> Western-sci-fl hybrid-epic Westworld has 
come riding into town as the hottest show 
on TV since, well, the last one, and has 
impeccable credentials both in and behind 
the scenes. Based on the 1973 film starring 
Yul Brynner, Westworld is set in a theme 
park where humans play out their darkest 
fantasies on unwitting robots, until 
a technical malfunction upsets the power 
balance dramatically. 

This update, starring Evan Rachel 
Wood, Thandie Newton and Anthony 
Hopkins, has been percolating for the two 
decades since JJ Abrams sat down with 
Michael Crichton, writer of the original 
book and director of the film, to discuss 
a remake. Now a crack husband-and-wife 
team, Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan — writer 
of, among others. Interstellar and The Dark 
Knight — have turned it into a TV series with 
Abrams executive producing. It is rumoured 
five series are already mapped out. 

The excellent first episode is both 
knottily intriguing and light on its feet in 
terms of exposition. But there are also times 
when we, like the robots in Westworld, might 
wonder: haven’t we been here before? 

Of course, the premise will be familiar to 
those who watched the original movie and 
have had nightmares about Brynner’s 
homicidal rogue robot ever since. The slow 
pacing of TV allows for differences, though, 
and Nolan and Joy have taken the clever 
step of reversing the film’s point of view; 
initially at least, we experience Westworld 

through the eyes of the robots, or "hosts”, 
who have no idea they’re robots at all. 

The ambition and scope of Westworld 
has drawn comparisons to Game of Thrones, 
due to lavish landscapes and a proliferating 
menu of characters played by an international 
cast. It also has an increasingly twisty plot, 
and tons of violence and nudity. But with its 
dependency on mystery and suspense, 
perhaps Westworld actually has more in 
common with Lost. And, wait, as a cult film 
that has taken on an extra dimension on the 
small screen, isn’t it a bit like Fargo ? And 

don’t those grisly opening credits remind 
you of Six Feet Under ? And the symbols and 
scary desert churches, aren’t they a bit True 
Detective? And those flash-forwards at the 
start of episodes, that’s totally Breaking Bad. 

Yes, Westworld has resonances of other 
successful TV shows, even if it’s sometimes 
just a faint glint in the circuitry. But should 
that affect your enjoyment? Not one iota. 
And anyway, as it no doubt says in the Host 
Repair Manual, if it ain’t broke. . . 

Westworld is on Sky Atlantic, Tuesdays at 9pm 

Factory girl 


A few months ago, you’d have found 
Julia Jacklin slogging away in an 
essential oils factory in Sydney. Now, 
you’ll find her touring her debut album 
Don’t Let the Kids Win ; she visits the UK 
in November. The cosmetic industry’s 
loss is undoubtedly the music industry’s 
gain, as Jacklin’s output thus far is 
a treat: this is a delicate gem of an 
album that slowly reveals its inner 

toughness. Jacklin has a voice made 
for alt-country music — she can coo like 
a turtle dove and trill like a lark — and 
used to sing in an indie- Appalachian 
folk band. Don’t Let the Kids Win has 
further nods to US culture: notably the 
end-of-the-prom lull of singles “Pool 
Party” and “Leadlight”. But where the 
album really shows its strength is in the 
subtle experiments with genre and 

sound: the driving indie-pop of 
“Coming of Age” contrasts beautifully 
with the drowsy reverb on the title 
track. Throw in Jacklin’s knack for lyrics 
(even Zach Braff somehow gets worked 
into a song) and it’s an intriguing 
debut, perhaps essential. 

Don’t Let the Kids Win (Transgressive) 
is out now 





±\ewbury, made in England by craftsmen, 
using the finest quality Tan Scotch Crain. 











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Dope fiend: Hitler’s Third 
Reich was partly fuelled 
by abundant narcotics, 
suggests author Norman 
Ohler, left, in Blitzed 

The war. 
On drugs 


The Nazis were all on drugs! So far, so 
sensationalist but German writer Norman 
Ohler’s absorbing new non-fiction book, 
Blitzed, makes the convincing argument 
that the Nazis’ use of chemical stimulants, 
from the infantry all the way up to the 
Fiihrer himself, played a crucial role in the 
successes, and failures, of the Third Reich. 

Ohler looks at this phenomenon through 
two lenses. The first is wider: considering 
the ways the Germans sought to boost the 
performance and stamina of troops with 
stimulants. Ohler suggests the capitulation 
of France in 1940 was due to the Wehrmacht 
being given Pervitin, a pill whose active 
ingredient was methamphetamine, or 
crystal meth. The drug gave German forces 
a sense of fearlessness and drastically 
decreased the need for sleep, meaning the 
panzers could roll to the Belgian-French 
border in just three days — much faster than 
the French had ever thought possible. 

The second strand of Ohler’s story has 
a smaller focus, though one intrinsically 
linked to the bigger picture. It concerns the 
complicated relationship between Adolf 
Hitler and his physician, Dr Theodor 
Morell, who — Ohler claims — turned the 
Fiihrer from a vegetarian ascetic to 
a dribbling addict over the nine years in 
which Hitler was in his “care”. During 
a chance meeting at a dinner party. Hitler 
mentioned his chronic intestinal pains and 
Morell suggested he try Mutaflor, a 
reasonably effective probiotic still in use 
today. Its success led the Ftihrer to demand 
stronger, quicker treatments from Morell for 
a variety of symptoms. By the time he died, 
says Ohler, Hitler had become a regular, 
even dependent, user of opiates and cocaine, 
even mixing the two as a “classic speedball”. 

By his death, Hitler 
had become a 
regular user of 
opiates and cocaine 

Ohler argues that the Fuhrer’s drug use 
had a direct impact on certain outcomes of 
the war. At a meeting with Mussolini in 
1943, at which II Duce had planned to tell 
Hitler that Italy should leave the war, the 
dosed-up Nazi boss talked incessantly for 
three hours. Mussolini wasn’t able to get 
a word in, and Italy stayed put. Where 
things get murkier, as Ohler knows, is when 
considering how much an intoxicated 
individual should be held responsible for his 
actions. Could chemical psychosis be used 
to explain the barbaric madness of, say, the 

Final Solution? Ohler makes his feelings on 
this particular point unequivocally clear. 

It wouldn’t have been desirable in Nazi 
Germany, of course, for the Wehrmacht’s 
strength and bravery to be explained as 
nothing but a chemical high, or for Hitler to 
be seen as buoyed by something other than 
the National Socialist dream. As a result, 
documentation from the time is patchy, and 
Ohler’s research ranges from the concrete: 
typed orders for huge quantities of Pervitin 
to be sent to exhausted frontline units; to the 
questionable: which substance was Morell 
disguising when he wrote that he’d injected 
Hitler with “X”?; to the speculative: could 
Hitler’s erratic behaviour towards the end 
of the war be indicative of drug withdrawal? 
Some of these questions will resist 
a definitive answern but Ohler’s book offers 
an intriguing angle on the motives and 
machinations of the Nazis and their leader. 

Blitzed (Allen Lane) by Norman Ohler is out now 




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His dark materials: 
Charlie Brooker’s 
drama series Black 
Mirror returns to 
screens this autumn 

‘I’m sure I come across like some kind of 
Unabomber, sat in a cave...’ 


As season three of his never less than 
terrifying — and often very funny — 
technology dystopia series Black Mirror 
moves from Channel 4 to Netflixand 
doubles to a six-episode run, Charlie 
Brooker reflects on life as the 
screenwriter of our digital nightmares. 

ESQUIRE: Some of the new Black Mirror 
episodes have quite an optimistic tone. 
Are you coming round to the idea that 
technology isn’t that bad after all? 
CHARLIE BROOKER: I’ve never thought 
that really! I’m sure I come across like 
some kind of Unabomber, sat in a cave 
somewhere still angry about 
typewriters. But I’m actually fascinated 
by technology. I think it’s an amazing 
set of tools we’ve invented. What I am 
is a neurotic worrier, so I project all 
sorts of anxieties onto those tools. 

ESQ: One of the episodes, “Nosedive”, 
is about a spectacular social media- 
induced meltdown. Take it you’re not 
a fan, then? 

CB: I think, as a species, we’re still 
figuring out how to use social media. 
We have to, because it’s not going to 
go away but it is weird how it has all 
evolved. I really miss “meh”. 

Remember, pre-Twitter, when 
everything was, like, “meh”? Nobody 
says that any more! Everything’s either 
“shit” or “brilliant”, it’s either a disaster 
or it’s won the internet. 

ESQ: Why do you think that is? 

CB: I guess because now these 
platforms reward you for being 
entertaining as an individual, so 
everyone exaggerates and tries to 
outdo each other to be more outraged, 
more pissed off. It doesn’t feel real, a 
lot of that. Politically, it feels like we’re 
all retreating into tribes. Either we’ll 
figure it out eventually, or we’ll end up 
just hacking at each other in a big field 
somewhere. Hopefully not the latter. 
ESQ: Give us the lowdown on the new 
episodes. No spoilers, mind. 

CB: Of course not. OK, so “San 
Junipero” is like a coming-of-age story 
set in the Eighties that almost plays out 
like a homage to a John Hughes movie; 
“Shut Up and Dance” is a grimy, sort of 
kitchen-sink thriller with no sci-fi 
element at all; “Nosedive” is a weird, 
Truman Show-esque social satire; “Men 
Against Fire” is a sort of metaphorical 
war movie; “Playtest” is like a video 

game-related Evil Dead II a nd “Hated 
in the Nation" is a Scandi-noir, near- 
future London detective story. 

ESQ: What’s changed by moving over 
to Netflix? 

CB: Well, we’re working on a slightly 
bigger canvas this time. One of the 
episodes, “Hating the Nation", is 
feature length. And half of them are 
set in America, so that’s different. But 
don’t worry, there are some grimy bits 
set in London, too. We’ve not gone 
completely saccharine. 

ESQ: Do American audiences “get it”? 
Black Mirror is pretty British... 

CB: It’s travelled better than we 
thought. They just have a different take 
on it. Something like “Shut Up and 
Dance”, which was shot in Hounslow 
and Twickenham and very recognisably 
grungy bits of London — to them, must 
be exotic. Like when we watch The Wire. 
ESQ: In 2011, you wrote an episode 
[“The National Anthem"] in which 
a prime minister was embroiled in a pig 
sex scandal. Last year, it happened for 
real. What’s going on there? 

CB: I have no idea. I remember my 
phone thrumming with a thousand 
texts saying: “Have you seen this?!" 

A lot of people said I must have known 
something because it was too weird to 
be a coincidence. I thought it was too 
weird to be a coincidence too, so 
therefore maybe reality is some kind 
of dream I’m having — which isn’t 
a healthy thought to have, really. 

ESQ: So what are you trying to do with 
Black Mirror? Just entertain us, or offer 
telling parables about modern life? 

CB: The show rarely presents any 
solutions, it just sort of revels in 
a problem. I don’t have any answers, 
just worries. Who couldn’t be worried 
about the world right now? I’ve had 
sleepless nights thinking about Donald 
Trump because my brain immediately 
leaps forward to a mushroom cloud 
going off. It’s like: “Trump’ll win, 
mushroom cloud, what order do I have 
to smother my own children in?" 
Anyway, I’m sure it’ll be all right. 

Black Mirror is released on Netflix on 
21 October 

‘If I think about Donald Trump 
my brain immediately leaps 
forward to a mushroom cloud’ 


Promotion / Clarks 

The new 

Extraordinary construction with 
modernist design - introducing 
the Black Edit from Clarks 

Ever since 1825, Clarks has been creating stylish, 
innovative, exceptionally well-made footwear for men 
who know how to dress, and its new Black Edit capsule 
collection is the perfect example. 

From overtime in the office to a variety of social 
events, the Black Edit range is the smart dress option 
that every man should have in their wardrobe right now. 
The dress shoes in the collection, for example, combine 
exquisite form with luxurious feel thanks to Clarks’ 
expert craftsmanship. Created on hand-carved wooden 
lasts and cut from premium leather, many of the shoes 
also feature Clarks’ “Cushion Plus” system — a dual- 
density padding in the sole that provides constant 
comfort for the wearer, whatever the occasion. 

When considering the immaculate design of the 
Swinley Cap and the Swinley Mid, it’s hard to argue 
against the Black Edit as one of Clarks’ sleekest, most 
progressive men’s collections to date. Best of all, though, 
the collection is adaptable, allowing you to wear any of 
the shoes with almost any look you put together. 

Left: navy velvet blazer, £90, byTopman. Black cotton T-shirt, 
model’s own. Navy diamond print silk scarf, £190, by Hardy 
Amies. Black wool trousers, £50, byTopman. Black leather 
Swinley Cap, £95, by Clarks. Black cotton socks, £12, by Falke 
Left, below: navy check wool suit, from £395, by Hardy Amies. Black 
leather Swinley Cap, £95, by Clarks. Black cotton socks, £12, by Falke 
Below: blue wool jacket, £110; blue track top, £35; white cotton shirt, 
£32; blue wool trousers, £50, all byTopman. Black leather Swinley 
Mid, £100, by Clarks. Black cotton socks, £12, by Falke 

Shoes such as the Swinley Cap and Swinley Mid from Clarks’ Black Edit 
collection are the perfect choice when it comes to completingyour outfit, 
whether it’s a formal look you favour, or an attempt at style innovation 


Photographs by Mattias Bjorklund 

Location: Ace Hotel, Shoreditch, London El 


US and them: some hits 
and misses for John 
Michael McDonagh and 
Andrea Arnold in their 
individual attempts at 
the American movie’ 

American hustle 


Two intriguing movies arrive this month, 
both of which explore the underside of 
American life and both of which bristle 
with talent and promise. First up is War on 
Everyone, from Anglo-Irish writer and 
director John Michael McDonagh; a week 
later comes American Honey, from British 
writer and director Andrea Arnold. 

These two auteurs — a lofty term perhaps, 
but one that suits Arnold certainly — 
have already had critical success with films 
set closer to home. McDonagh has made two 
highly respected black comedies starring 
Brendan Gleeson: The Guard in 2011 and 
Calvary in 2014, about an Irish policeman 
and an Irish priest respectively. Arnold 
made Red Road in 2006 and Fish Tank in 
2009, both exquisite, naturalistic studies of 
feisty female leads living difficult, deprived 
lives. The Guard became the most successful 

Irish independent movie of all time; Fish 
Tank won the Cannes Jury Prize in 2009 
and the Bafta for "Outstanding British Film” 
in 2010. So perhaps it was inevitable that 
these two would seek larger spoils. 

Just as there has always been a steady 
stream of British pop groups crossing the 
Atlantic to prove themselves on a bigger 
stage, so too is there an impulse for film- 
makers to ply their trade Stateside; it is, 
after all, where most of the serious money is. 
While British directors such as Joe Wright 
and Christopher Nolan have been able 
to capitalise on reputations for lush period 
pieces and smarter-than-average action films, 
for indier, artier directors with traditionally 
smaller budgets and more esoteric stories, 
the pearly gates to the US market are harder 
to open. Both McDonagh and Arnold’s new 
films attempt to transpose some of the 

successful traits of their previous works into 
an American landscape and the results are, 
it must be said, mixed. 

McDonagh’s effort. War on Everyone, 
which he has written and directed, is a high- 
energy, wise-cracking comedy starring 
Alexander Skarsgard and Michael Pena as 
policemen buddies in New Mexico whose 
morals are as loose as their suits are sharp. 

When they get wind of a high-stakes robbery 
that’s about to take place, they decide that, 
rather than bring the plotters to justice, 
they’re going to try to get their cut. 

American Honey, which Arnold also 
directed and wrote, follows Star (Sasha 
Lane), a young girl in Texas who runs into 
a rag-tag bunch of misfit teenagers fronted by 
Shia LaBeouf (sporting an attractive rat’s tail 
and looking very much like early Dexys-era 
Kevin Rowland). These Lost Boys and Girls 
are travelling the country in a minibus 
selling magazine subscriptions to the Great 
American Public, and Star decides to cut 
her minimal losses and get on board. 

War on Everyone is a skip-along crime 
caper with badinage aplenty, even if the 
jokes often fall with a bit of a thud. American 
Honey is a beautifully slow, sun-drenched > 

McDonagh throws everything in the mix 
— resulting in a film with all the form and 
finesse of a Mississippi mud pie 


Plane for all to see: Mahwish 
Chishty combines silhouettes of 
military drones with decorative 
Pakistani folk art patterns to create 
her not-so-subtle spy plane models 

Ceci n’est pas un drone 


paean to the lost youth of lost youths. Where 
both films have problems, however, is their 
sense of scale. 

War on Everyone is a Seventies cop TV 
show/movie homage, but rather than trusting 
his knack for zingy dialogue and observing 
human idiosyncrasies, McDonagh throws 
everything he can think of in the mix — 
tracksuited Irish felons, transvestite strip 
club owners, even burka-clad tennis players 

— resulting in a film with all the form and 
finesse of a Mississippi mud pie. It’s hard 
not to conclude that the pressures of making 
a film with wider, ie, American, commercial 
appeal caused the whole project to bloat. 

Arnold tries to take on the topic of the US 
more directly with her road movie that’s also 
a handy tour of the different societal strata 

— rich, poor, but all unsatisfied — that the 
country has to offer. Her characters come out 
with statements as bald as, “I feel like I’m 
fucking America!” (ambiguity no doubt 
intended), and make references to “40 acres 
and a mule”, the promise given to freed slaves 
that was subsequently reneged upon. 

For a film-maker whose work is so 
delicate and nuanced — Arnold loves the 
metaphorical possibilities of a lingering shot 
on a fly or a moth buzzing on a pane of glass 

— the references feel clumsy and say little 
about the US of A that hasn’t been explored 
before: you mean the American Dream isn’t 
all it’s cracked up to be? (It’s also about 45 
minutes too long, which the loss of a few of 
those fly-meets-window shots might rectify.) 

For both of these eminently talented 
writer-directors, this trip across the Atlantic 
and out of their comfort zones will hopefully 
expand their audiences and increase their 
future budgets. They certainly deserve it. But 
on behalf of British and Irish audiences, you 
hope that they booked a return ticket. 

War on Everyone is out now; American Honey is out 
on 14 October 

If there’s one thing a combat drone needs 
to be, it’s discreet. So, it’s fair to say an 
exhibition of works by Pakistan-born 
artist Mahwish Chishty at the Imperial War 
Museum in London takes some pretty 
essential liberties. 

For her “Drone Series”, Chishty makes 
paintings and wooden sculptures of 
unmanned aerial vehicles, which she then 
daubs with vibrant colours. Not only does 

their new livery render the drones 
functionally useless, it also points to the 
way in which they have become such a 
fixture in Pakistan’s landscape that they’ve 
been woven into the fabric of the country’s 
culture. Whether those below like it or not. 

IWM Contemporary: Mahwish Chishty runs at 
the Imperial War Museum, London SEI from 
19 October to 19 March 2017 

Dead air 


Documentary Kate Plays Christine 
couldn’t have a more sensationalist 
subject. On 15 July 1974, 29-year-old 
Christine Chubbuck, a news reporter 
for Channel 40 in Sarasota, Florida, 
sat down in front of the camera and 
read the morning’s headlines in 
a live broadcast. When the newsreel 
that was meant to follow wouldn’t 
run, Chubbuck reached into her 
handbag, pulled out a revolver, and 
shot herself in the head. However, 

this feature-length documentary 
from Robert Greene could not take 
a more low-key approach. 

Ostensibly, it's a behind-the- 
scenes look at the making of 
a dramatic film that recreates 
Chubbuck’s last days and final 
violent act and we are watching an 
actress, Kate Lyn Sheil, prepare for 
the role. There are wigs to be fitted, 
tans to be sprayed, handguns to be 
bought. The film, though, does not 

really exist (though there is a biopic 
starring Rebecca Hall due next year); 
rather it is part of a “meta” 
investigation into Chubbuck’s 
motives, Sheil’s motives and indeed, 
our own as viewers. It’s intensely 
thought-provoking, deeply unsettling 
and very much worthy of your 
attention right to the final frame. 

Kate Plays Christine is out on 
14 October 


Getty I Reaper: copyright Mahwish Chishty 

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Rocket man: former Nasa 
astronaut Mike Massimino 
puts you in the space suit as 
he recounts his experiences 
on Earth and beyond in Spaceman 

Hello space guy! 


“It’s possible that Radiohead’s OK Computer 
was recorded specifically to be listened to in 
space, and that everyone who’s heard it on 
Earth is missing the full experience,” writes 
Mike Massimino, in his autobiography. 
Spaceman. Massimino knows this because 
he’s listened to OK Computer. In space. 

Unlike the vast majority of us — including 
Radiohead — he’s had the full experience. 

But don’t worry; he’s going to explain it to 
you as best he can. 

Because Mike Massimino is just your 
average guy from Queens, New York, who 
happens to have had a few experiences he’d 
like to share. Just your average guy with two 
master’s degrees and a PhD from MIT, who 
trained his fricking retinas through sheer 
force of will so that he could pass his eye 
exam and get into Nasa, who rose up above 
all the other brilliant wannabe astronauts 
and got himself put on a shuttle to go on 
a spacewalk 350 miles above the ground and 
fix the Hubble telescope and help mankind’s 
continued effort to understand the secrets 
of the universe. Twice. 

Spaceman is a straight-talking, completely 

absorbing account of how Massimino 
managed to achieve all this, told with 
a “who, me?” incredulity that is as endearing 
as it is utterly unconvincing. But if you want 
to imagine that you, too, an ordinary Joe, 
are strapped to your seat in a shuttle that’s 
about to blast through the atmosphere, or are 
looking through the helmet of your spacesuit 

at the multicoloured brilliance of pure 
starlight, or are noticing the impossible blue 
of Planet Earth while listening to late 
Nineties art rock, then Mike’s your guy, and 
this is your book. 

Spaceman by Mike Massimino is out now 
(Simon 5 Schuster) 

Oasis of calm 








It took the Gallagher brothers just four 
years to really make and break Oasis. 

From 1993 to 1996, they signed a record 
deal, released two decade-defining 
albums, habitually disbanded in drug- 
fuelled acrimony, and performed to over 
250,000 people at Knebworth in the most 
sought-after set of gigs in British history. 

The personal and professional 
cloudburst that followed threatens to 
become their legacy, but those shows 
marked a pop culture zenith that no 

musical act has matched since. 

Twenty years later, Asif Kapadia and 
James Gay-Rees’s (Amy, Senna) access-all- 
areas documentary Supersonic charts the 
bumpy road that led to those two 
momentous nights at Knebworth. With 
the help of unearthed behind-the-scenes 
footage and revealing commentary from 
the band, Supersonic manages to fully 
encapsulate the chaos that came with 
being the biggest rock stars on the planet. 

Of course, Noel and Liam’s sibling 

rivalry takes centre-stage once again. 

But while their constant fall-outs are 
a much too trodden subject, a focus on 
what unites the pair makes Supersonic 
the most affecting insight into their 
relationship yet. A mutual hatred for 
their physically abusive father, as well as 
candid moments of heart-warming brotherly 
affection, lifts their familiar story away 
from the tabloids and far closer to tragedy. 

Supersonic is out now 


Promotion / Dorco 

on the 

Why Dorco’s Pace 6 Plus 
razor is what you need to 
get smart this season 

It’s easy to let your skincare 
regime fall by the wayside at this 
time of year. In fact, after all 
the sculpting, tanning and 
moisturising of summer it can feel 
like a relief. But cold air, wind and 
rain can wreak havoc with your 
skin, so it’s more important than 
ever to get the basics right. And 
with beards officially out for 
Autumn/Winter 2016, that means 
getting the closest and smoothest 
shave possible, which is where 
Dorco comes in. 

Now it’s your turn to discover 
what style-savvy men across the 
Pond have known for some time: 
Dorco doesn’t just produce 
exemplary shaving kits, the 
South Korean brand offers an 
impeccable service, too. 

Sign up to Dorco’s monthly 
shaving subscription and 
alongside the complimentary, 
custom-made, non-slip handle 
that’s supplied with your first 
order, you’ll receive four Pace 
6 Plus razor heads, the best and 
most effective razor Dorco 
produces. Sounds good, right? 

But that’s not even the best bit. 

Costing less than six pounds 
per month, the four new razors 
delivered to your door every four 
weeks will ensure the cleanest of 
shaves every day while keeping 
facial skin fresh and supple. 

Exclusive reader offer 

The Super Six subscription package 
is £5.95 per month and includes delivery 
of four Pace 6 Plus razor heads every four 
weeks, plus a free Pace 6 Plus handle with 
first delivery. Try the razor yourself with our 
exclusive Esquire discount. Simply enter 
ESQD044 at check-out for 10 per cent off 
your first month at 

The handle 

The blades 

Ergonomic, non-slip 
and sleekly designed, 
Dorco’s Pace 6 Plus 
handle is as stylish to 
look at as it is efficient 
to use. Better yet, it fits 
any Dorco razor head, 
should you want to 
adapt your subscription 
(from £3.90 a month). 

Six ultifPsharp blades 
.provide an unbeatably 
close shave, while 
the lubrication strip - 
loaded with aloe vera, 
vitamin E and lavender 
oil — soothes and 
protects the skin. Use 
the extra-wide trimming 
blade on the back of 
the head to neaten 
everything up. Sorted! 


Photographs by Mark Sanders 

Louis Theroux words by Charlie Teasdale 


Thetan mess: in his new 
feature-length doc, 
Louis Theroux tries, not 
entirely successfully, to 
crack Scientology 

Faith some more 


With even the most cursory of glances at 
his back catalogue of playfully inquisitive 
investigations into cultish subcultures and 
outlandish ideologies, it’s clear that 
Britain’s best-loved documentary-maker 
Louis Theroux was always destined to 
make his latest film. My Scientology Movie. 
Here, we recap five of his films that paved 
the way. 

(. Weird Weekends: Born Again Christians, 1998 

Recently Theroux has enacted a more sombre 
tone to discuss major issues of modern society 
(alcohol addiction, mental illness, sex offenders 
etc), but in his earlier TV work he scrutinised kooky 
fringe groups, social exiles and a few genuine 
crackpots. His gently bumbling, almost-insouciant 
charm was reliably disarming, as evident in his 
inaugural BBC outing. 

In a quote: “Well, I hadn’t been delivered after all, 
which meant I might be facing eternity in a place 
called ‘Hell’. But then again, at least I could still 
smoke pot and go to gay bars." 

2. Weird Weekends: India, 2000 

In India, Louis goes in search of enlightenment, 
and meets various gurus, mystics and followers of 
both. He’s vocally sceptical throughout, but then 
has a hug with Mata “Ammo” Amritanandamayi, 

one of the most beloved spiritual leaders in India. 
After the embrace he staggers woozily through 
the crowd, visibly shaken and unnerved. 

In a quote: “I don’t know if it was the incense or 
the music, or maybe the crush of the crowd, but 
something very odd happened. For the first time 
in my whole trip, I felt like something had touched 
me in a way I couldn't explain.” 

3. Louis and the Nazis, 2003 

It’s not often that Louis is ruffled, but during his 
meeting with a gang of Californian neo-Nazis he’s 
asked by an already riled redneck if he is Jewish. 
Theroux refuses to answer either way, which only 
makes the man angrier. There’s a look of genuine 
terror on Louis’ face, and you realise the only 
thing standing between him and a beating (or 
worse) is the camera. 

In a quote: “If I told you I was Jewish would that 
create a problem between us?" 

4. The Most Hated Family in America, 2007 

The Westboro Baptist Church (famous for 
brandishing signs including “God Hates Fags”) 
welcomed Louis along for a few weeks of funeral 
picketing. Beyond the astonishing audacity of 
the family — and it really is bonkers — the grist 
of the film is the story of the children who are 
trapped in a life they didn’t choose and can’t 
be sure if they even believe in. 

In a quote: [To someone waving a sign that says 
“Fags Eat Poop”] “Is that in the Bible?” 

5. The Ultra Zionists, 2011 

On the West Bank, Louis meets with Jewish 
occupiers who believe the land was promised to 
them by God. As is often the case, Louis spends 
much of the film looking perplexed and ponders 
the apparent, almost ritualistic futility of the 
Middle East conflict, but as a film it does a good 
job of bringing the toll of the violent drudgery 
to the fore. 

In a quote: “This is strange, it feels like a game.” 

6. My Scientology Movie, 2016 

After almost 20 years in the company of oddballs, 
you’d imagine Theroux was perfectly poised to 
tackle the Church of Scientology. And he is. But 
leader David Miscavige and co are as resistant 
to his methods as they have been to every other 
curious mind who’s come knocking. That is to say, 
Louis doesn’t speak to any current Scientologists. 
Instead, he directs a series of reenactments that 
illustrate the odd practices within the church. We 
see him hit a wall and improvise, but it makes for 
good, and at times, chilling cinema. 

In a quote: “We can’t get Miscavige, but we can 
create our own Miscavige.” 

My Scientology Movie is out now 







13-16 OCTOBER 2016 





R . 




Luurral •tVrrlfr 

^ Win iam Okas t'& Sons 



Esquire / 25th Anniversary Special 


To celebrate Esquire’s 25th anniversary, advertisers from our 
launch year get a look in the mirror, right back to 1991 

-> It’s not just a magazine’s covers that evolve over time. The articles 
and interviews inside reflect an ever-changing world, fashions reflect 
each new season, celebrities shine brightly — some fleetingiy, some 
timelessly. And then there are the advertisements. Ads are calls to 
action, designed to tug at heartstrings (and, of course, purse strings) 

and, to do that, they have to reflect what really matters to you, our 
readers. They are signifiers of the mood, culture and desires of the 
times. Over the following 14 pages, we salute some of the brands 
who have worked with us throughout our 25-year history and present 
a selection of some of our favourite advertisers from our first year. 









Watchmaking excellence 

A scent with 

Timepieces that stand up 

Ocean freshness for 

to transcend generations 

timeless appeal 

to the toughest challenges 

the modern man 




PI 24 

PI 26 


Fine Italian craftsmanship 

Telling tales of whiskey. 

British heritage knitwear. 

that needs no introduction 

without the hard sell 

timeless and innovative 


Esquire / 25th Anniversary Special 

Generations of excellence 

Unquestionable luxury, unmatched craftsmanship: Patek Philippe 

the past 


At Sotheby’s in New York, 
a 1920 Patek pocket watch 
sells for $600,000, then 
the highest price paid for 
a watch of any kind in an 
American auction house. 


The “Generations” 
campaign is launched, 
and first features the new 
Annual Calendar watch, 
on which the date only 
needs changing once 
a year, on 1 March. 


In Geneva, the Patek 
Philippe Museum opens. 
It’s one of the great watch 
collections and also a 
library of more than 8,000 
books and publications on 
the subjects of watches 
and time. 


Ten days before 
Christmas, the London 
Salon, at 16 Bond Street, 
reopens, almost five times 
larger after a nine-month 
renovation. It’s a fitting 
end to Patek Philippe’s 
175th anniversary year. 


The iconic Nautilus 
range of sports watches, 
with an oval case inspired 
by a ship’s porthole, 
celebrates four decades 
in production. 



Kcgin voijr emo 

You never actually 
own a Patek Philippe 


You merely look alter 
it for the next 

Tkf pitfiird Annual (akndar ditpliyi day 
month and date which only 
need* react ting oner a yrar A ijpphire 
crystal back rewrali the »<If winding 
movement which like all fatek Philippe 
mechanical wale bra n dtatiag'i'thfd by 
tbc Gene** Seal kef 
Td •«« (©) ijh ly<|4l www patek com 

-» The slogan in the Patek Philippe advertising 
campaigns — “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. 
You merely look after it for the next generation” — is 
more than just good copy. In 2009, Thierry Stern 
became the fourth generation of the Stern family to 
take charge of the prestigious Swiss watchmaker. 

Before the Sterns, who bought the firm in 1932, 
descendants of Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe took 
leading turns. The “Generations” campaign is actually 
a reflection of the company’s DNA. 

Patek Philippe watches are the most coveted of all. 
The most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction is 
a Patek Philippe 5016A, which fetched CHF7.3m at 

Phillips in Geneva in November 2015. A year earlier, the 
Henry Graves Supercomplication, a Patek pocket watch 
of 74mm diameter made in 1933, sold, after a 15-minute 
bidding war at Sotheby’s in Geneva, for CHF20.6m, 
making it the most expensive timepiece of any kind 
sold at auction — a mark that is yet to be surpassed. 

When you buy a Patek Philippe you are making 
a singular commitment to watch manufacture of the 
highest order. Whoever’s fortunate enough to follow you 
in the next generation will inherit timeless style and 
mechanical perfection. Before then, there’s time enough 
to enjoy wearing your Patek. Never has “merely looking 
after” something been so pleasurable. 


Esquire / 25th Anniversary Special 


Esquire / 25th Anniversary Special 

the story 
of a classic 


Aramis appears in the 
first edition of Esquire. 


The launch of Aramis 
Havana marks the brand’s 
30th birthday in style. 


Andre Agassi became 
the face of Aramis with 
the launch of Aramis Life. 
One of the greatest tennis 
players of all-time, Agassi 
remains the only man to 
have won all four Grand 
Slams, Olympic gold and 
the ATP World Tour Finals. 


The Gentleman’s 
Collection - comprising 
eight former Aramis 
favourites brought back to 
life, including Aramis 900, 
New West for Him and 
Devin Country - returns to 
the shelves full-time after 
connecting with a whole 
new generation of men. 


Aramis turns 50, 
becoming one of only 
a handful of male 
fragrances to rack up half 
a century, with no let-up in 
its enduring appeal. 


The Aramis Classic 
range of fragrances and 
grooming products, as 
well as special editions 
including Aramis Voyager, 
are available in more than 
130 countries. 

Classic and groundbreaking 

Instrumental in the birth and rise of men’s grooming, Aramis continues to inspire 

-» When Aramis partnered with Esquire back in the 
autumn of 1991, it’s fair to say that it was the magazine 
that benefited most. For E squire to signal its intention 
to become an essential part of male culture in the UK, 
it could not have chosen a better collaborator. At that 
point, Aramis had already enjoyed more than 25 years 
as an essential component of the lives of British men. 

The fragrance first appeared in 1964, and quickly 
established itself in the then small-but-growing men’s 
corners in department stores. In 1967, a range of Aramis 
products was launched, including the Invigorating 
Body Shampoo and 24 Hour Antiperspirant Spray that 
continue to be best sellers today. This was more than 
just a milestone in men’s grooming: as the first range of 

its kind, it essentially laid the foundations for the entire 
male grooming industry. 

Few groundbreaking brands go on to enjoy a long 
and successful existence, but Aramis is one of them. 

A significant part of that success can be attributed to 
the timeless quality of the original Aramis Classic 
scent, with its warm, woody background and leafy, 
citrus top notes of bergamot and sage. This enduring 
appeal is also testament to the craftsmanship that first 
skilfully blended the fragrance. Timelessness is also 
reflected in the advertising campaigns: snapshots 
of classic masculinity that have outlasted hundreds 
of other trends. You could say that about the bottle, 
and its contents, too. 



all a man is 


Esquire / 25th Anniversary Special 

Esquire / 25th Anniversary Special 

a Tag Heuer 


The first “Don’t Crack 
Under Pressure” campaign 
launches, with its focus on 
sport; a year later, Tag 
Heuer becomes the 
official timekeeper of FI. 


After the all-new Carrera 
of 1996, and 12 months 
ahead of Monaco’s 
rebirth, the Kirium is 
launched - its case, bezel 
and bracelet are joined in 
a “liquid metal” concept. 


With its first digital-only 
watch for two decades, 
the Fl Mikrograph, Tag 
Heuer wins the watch 
industry’s highest 
design award. 


An incredible leap in 
watch technology: the 
Monaco V4 is the world’s 
first belt-driven watch; 10 
years later the Monaco 
V4Tourbillon appears. 


Steve McQueen races 
against Lewis Hamilton 
in The Duel, a film 
commissioned to mark 
the 40th anniversary of 
the Monaco watch, using 
Le Mans footage. 


Premier League referees 
track matches with 
Connected watches and 
fourth officials have info 
boards shaped like 
a Carrera, as Tag Heuer 
becomes the league’s 
official timekeeper. 

A sporting evolution 

From Senna and McQueen to the faces of Tag Heuer’s new generation 

-» It’s not only a hashtag and a 25-year-gap that 
separates Tag Heuer’s two “Don’t Crack Under 
Pressure” campaigns. The company’s industry-leading 
innovation since the first campaign, which ran from 
1991 to 1994, means that the new Carrera Calibre Heuer 
01 — skeleton dial, modular steel-and-titanium 
construction — demonstrates unparalleled precision 
watchmaking technology in 2016. 

Today’s partnership with Red Bull Racing is 
important, too. It underpins Tag Heuer’s deep-rooted 
connection to sport, and to motor racing in particular. 
This link was forged in 1963 with the first-ever watch 
made for professional racing drivers, the Tag Heuer 
Carrera. (That’s a Carrera 2000 in the 1991 ad.) 

Then came the launch of the Monaco watch, in 
1969. Two years later, when Steve McQueen wore 
his Monaco in the film LeMans, there was no more 
desirable watch on the planet. Between the iconic actor 
and Red Bull Racing, the two greatest drivers in Fl 
history, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, 
became Tag Heuer ambassadors. 

The Monaco was also a technological marvel, the 
first square chronograph to be water-resistant, and in 
2015, the launch of Tag Heuer Connected rebooted 
the idea of what a touchscreen smartwatch could be. 
Not cracking under pressure to innovate, and 
remaining at watchmaking’s cutting edge, continues 
to be a cornerstone of the brand’s success. 


Esquire / 25th Anniversary Special 

ess ure 

s TAGHeuer 




TAG Heuer is ttie Official Timekeeper and Team Performance Partner of 
Red Bull Racing. Two disruptive teams who KDontCrackUnderPressure both on 
and off the track. 

Esquire / 25th Anniversary Special 

Timeless freshness 

Cool Water: 
of an icon 


Just three years after 
launch, Cool Water is 
already one of the world’s 
best-selling fragrances 
for men, a position it 
continues to hold in 2016. 


Zino Davidoff, dies in 
Switzerland, aged 87. 
His lifelong passion for 
excellence and luxury 
-from fragrance to 
cognac, leather goods 
and more -is the 
cornerstone of an 
enduring global brand. 


In a year of much media 
debate about celebrity 
fragrances, Cool Water’s 
sales almost double 
that of 2005’s best-selling 
celebrity scent (Sean 
Combs’s Sean John 
Unforgivable). Further 
proof of Cool Water as 
a truly iconic fragrance. 


Cool Water celebrates 
its 25th birthday. 


As part of the “Love The 
Ocean” initiative, Cool 
Water ambassador Scott 
Eastwood helps with 
a July beach clean-up in 
San Diego, the first of 
several planned around 
the world. The first UK 
beach clean takes place in 
August, at Bigbury-on- 
Sea in Devon. 

Why Cool Water continues to make a splash in modern masculinity 

-» Cool Water might be the best-named fragrance ever. 
Those two words instantly conjure ocean freshness 
before you’ve even taken the lid off the bottle. And 
when you do, the fragrance itself is more stimulating 
again, lifting your senses immediately. There’s a reason 
why it has remained unchanged for almost 30 years. 

The only major change to Cool Water since its debut 
in 1988, (when E squire was barely a glint in a publisher’s 
eye) is a revamped Davidoff logo. Everything else is the 
same: the bottle, in ocean blue; the top notes of 
peppermint and coriander; the sandalwood and 
jasmine at the fragrance’s heart; the warm, musky base. 

It’s hardly surprising, then, that the branding of 
Cool Water has stayed constant. Scott Eastwood, son 

of Clint, is in the latest campaign (following on from 
stars including Josh Holloway and Paul Walker), 
which shares much of its visual motifs from previous 
campaigns. Masculinity, the magnetism of the ocean 
and the unchanging, iconic Cool Water bottle: why 
mess with a winning formula? 

Since 2012, Cool Water’s "Love The Ocean” 
initiative has supported National Geographic’s 
Pristine Seas expeditions, which explore and document 
marine environments across the globe, with the goal of 
protecting 10 per cent of the world’s ocean by 2020. 

Cool Water’s spiritual and sensual link with the 
ocean is now complemented by a physical commitment 
to help preserve it. 


DAV i do i I 


EAU 06 

T0»l6tt L 

Esquire / 25th Anniversary Special 

From dreams to genius 

a history of 
brief time 


Bulgari marks a decade 
of its purpose-built 
watch facility in 
Switzerland; in the 
100 years prior, watches 
were made in Italy. 


The striking, sporty 
Aluminium watch is 
launched, with a strap 
made of said metal 
and black rubber, and 
a black rubber bezel. 


In yellow or white gold, the 
Bulgari-Bulgari Grand 
Complication, an in-house 
first, has a transparent 
case-back for viewing 


The Octo watch launches, 
fittingly, in Rome, where 
the circle and octagon 
central to the case design 
are mainstays of the 
ancient architecture. 


Two records broken 
by the Octo Finissimo 
Tourbillon: world’s 
thinnest tourbillon 
(1.95mm) and tourbillon 
watch (5mm). 


At Baselworld, the watch 
industry’s Cannes/ 
Comic Con, Bulgari 
reveals the Octo 
Finissimo, at 6.85mm 
minute repeater. 

The Bulgari story: striking the right balance between 
embracing change and retaining heritage 

-» The campaign was called Bulgari Dream. No 
captions, no models, just something beautiful made by 
Bulgari, a cloudy sky and a sloping foreground with 
subtly embossed company logos. When these ads first 
appeared, in the Eighties, they were untypical of that 
glossy, padded decade — which is perhaps what made 
them stand out. (The artificial construction of space, 
which seems very Eighties today, was in fact inspired by 
the work of the surrealist artist Rene Magritte, he of the 
bowler hats and this-is-not-a-pipe pipe.) 

The idea was so successful that it continued into 
the next decade, and the 1991 incarnation appeared in 
Esquire’s debut issue, forging a relationship that would 

continue for the next quarter-century. That particular 
ad was for a Bulgari-Bulgari, named for the two 
engravings of the logo on the bezel, a design inspired 
by Roman coins with their inscriptions extolling the 
power of the emperors they depicted. 

Rome, where Bulgari is headquartered, also informs 
the watch in the current campaign, Italian Genius: the 
octagon and the circle on the face of the Octo Ultranero 
are common motifs of classical Roman architecture. And 
there’s also an indicator of historical significance, and 
the passage of time, in that immediately recognisable, 
old-style U of the Bulgari logo, which as horological 
style and technology evolves, remains constant. 



Esquire / 25th Anniversary Special 



« Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail » 

Leonardo da Vinci 


Esquire / 25th Anniversary Special 

Jack Daniel’s: 
history in a 
square bottle 


Esquire is born, in central 
London. About 4,000 
miles away, in Lynchburg, 
Tennessee, home of the 
Jack Daniel Distillery, 
glasses are raised to 
mark Jack Daniel’s 
125th birthday. 


The first appearance of 
Jack Daniel’s Single 
Barrel launches: the 
company’s second new 
whiskey (after the 
Gentleman Jack in 1988) 
to launch in a century. 


Jeff Arnett becomes 
Jack Daniel’s seventh 
master distiller. Only 
five master distillers 
separate Jeff from 
Jasper Newton “Jack” 
Daniel himself. 


Jack Daniel’s introduces 
its first flavoured 
expression - Jack 
Daniel’s Tennessee Honey 
- attracting a whole new 
generation of Jack 
drinkers. Four years later, 
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee 
Fire is introduced. 


Celebrations for Jack 
Daniel’s 150th anniversary 
include a worldwide Barrel 
Hunt sparked by clues on 
Facebook, and a limited- 
edition whiskey from 
barrels “slow-toasted” in 
one of the Distillery’s 
sunniest spots. 

Sometimes it’s good to be square 

The Jack Daniel’s bottle and its contents are authentic modern icons 


iW JmI Dtixfi DuMtkry. 

THE LABEL On A Bottle Of 
Jack Daniels Whiskey Is For Folks Who 
Aren’t Too Impressed By Labels. 

Our label has always lacked colour, dating to when 
Jack Darnel sold whiskey in the crocks up above. 

You see, our founder said what went in his bottle was 
more important than what went on it. 

And we still say that at the Tennessee distillery today. 

If your interest lies in a truly smooth sippin' whiskey, 
we recommend Jack Daniel's. But if you like colourful labels, 
well there's no shortage of brands to pick from. 

-» Jack Daniel’s whiskey isn’t advertised in the usual 
way. Instead, stories are told in the style of postcards 
from Lynchburg, Tennessee, based on an advertising 
charter that dates back to the Fifties. They are stories 
of the people who make it, the ingredients and skills 
they use, and the place where the whiskey comes from. 

It’s a winning strategy of telling, not selling, that 
resonates deeply within the brand. Jack Daniel’s is able 
to boast a commitment to integrity and authenticity few 
others can emulate — every word of every story in every 
ad is true, featuring real people from the distillery. 

There have been celebrity endorsements, but only of 
the unpaid, heartfelt thumbs-up kind, from passionate 

fans. In 1955, Frank Sinatra took a bottle on stage with 
him and told his audience, “Ladies and gentlemen, this 
is Jack Daniel’s and it’s the nectar of the gods.” By the 
end of the next year, sales had doubled. 

Very little beyond the typeface has changed in the 
adverts over the past 100-plus years. Like the label, 
they’re all black and white. But, as the 1991 ad above 
shows. Jack himself always said that what went into 
the bottle was more important than what went on it. 
Today, as the year-long celebrations of the whiskey’s 
150th anniversary draw to a close, Jack Daniel’s is still 
made the way Mr Jack made it: charcoal mellowed drop 
by drop for exceptional smoothness. Cheers to that. 


Esquire / 25th Anniversary Special 


We distill our whiskey using water from our free-flowing cave spring. And we mellow it 
through hard maple charcoal made from trees that grow in abundance around town. Yes, 
quite a bit of Lynchburg ends up in every glass of Jack Daniel’s. More discerning drinkers 
might also note a bit of Lynchburg’s world-famous southern hospitality in there, too. It’s 
our secret ingredient - one our town has had in ready supply for 150 years now. 



*iimui f 

02016 jKk OlflttCs All rrgtUi riser wd JACK OAMEL'S ind OLD NO. 7 ire regJi tired tridemirks 
toiiNt..’ dririwm co uk 


Esquire / 25th Anniversary Special 

stylish British 


Awarded the Queen’s 
Award for Export 
Achievement. Today, 
almost two thirds of 
production is exported 
to more than 30 countries 
on five continents. Japan 
is the biggest market; 
John Smedley has been 
available there since 1912. 


New machinery at 
Lea Mills allows the 
craftsmen and women 
to incorporate innovative 
design and patterns into 
the production process 
of merino, cashmere 
and sea island 
cotton knitwear. 


No longer just the best 
reason to visit the great 
menswear shops and 
department stores: John 
Smedley opens its first 
independent London 
retail space on Brook 
Street in Mayfair. 


In June, at the inaugural 
London Collections: Men, 
John Smedley shows 
its spring/summer 
2012 collection to 
great acclaim. 


A new London flagship 
store opens on Jermyn 
Street, with maple flooring 
matching the original Lea 
Mills factory floor and the 
Wall of Colour: iconic 
knitwear in every shade 
of the season. 

A true British classic 

How John Smedley combines centuries of heritage with modern style 

-» Celebrating the passage of 25 years is commonplace 
at John Smedley. The Derbyshire firm has been a leader 
in its field since 1784, crafting timeless knitwear at 
what is now considered the oldest manufacturing 
factory in the world. Lea Mills. 

It is impossible to survive in business, especially the 
business of fashion, for so long without embracing 
innovation. John Smedley has consistently introduced 
new techniques to its production process: from some of 
the first full knitting machines in the Victorian era, to 
3D design today. By maintaining its heritage along with 
this contemporary input, a great British brand has been 
able to thrive for more than 230 years. 

There have been many links to other British icons. 

In fashion, collaborations with Paul Smith and Vivienne 
Westwood. In film, most recently, Daniel Craig wore 

a black Bobby V-neck pullover as James Bond, in 
Spectre. In Dr No, Sean Connery’s Bond spends much of 
his time in Jamaica in polo shirts, which experts have 
identified as coming from Lea Mills. 

Fast-forward to John Smedley’s pre-fall 2016 
collection, and you’ll see a perfect example of how the 
brand combines classic quality with contemporary 
touches: flashes of neon colour inspired by British 
Brutalist building interiors (and also a nod to next 
year’s spring/summer collection); a slim, tailored fit for 
jumpers. The latter, to give credit where it’s due, is 
a John Smedley touchstone, and just one reason why it 
is rightly known for making the world’s finest knitwear. 
55 Jermyn Street, SWiY 6LX; 2 4 Brook Street, W1K5DG; 
Lea Mills, Lea Bridge, Matlock, DE45AG; For more 




As proud, puff-chested Brits, we like to think that we shape our own lives, decide our own fates, plot 
our own destinies. But, of course, that is not entirely true. There are others among us — bolder 
(occasionally), brighter (sometimes), brasher (often) — who have defined our experiences, for better 
or worse. They have led us, entertained us, dressed us, shocked us, fed us, inspired us, embarrassed 
us, sold to us, cured us. For our 25th anniversary issue, Esquire’s editors have compiled a list of the 
British men we feel have defined the past quarter-century for other British men — ail of us — for 
better or worse. We’ve narrowed our focus to those who have made their mark since 1991, hence no 

[ 130 ] 

Paul Smith, Paul Weller, Paul Gascoigne... all the Pauls. We’ve also included only those who are alive 
today, with one impossible-to-ignore exception. These men may not all be famous — and certainly, 
they may not all be liked — but their impact on our lives is undeniable. What would the world think 
of us without Tony Blair? What would contemporary art look like without Damien Hirst? How much 
more relaxed about our hair would we feel without David Beckham? What would anything in the 
21st century be like without Tim Berners-Lee? Of course, the answers are endlessly debatable, and 
we hope the pages that follow will prompt discussion rather than end it. Who deserves to be on this 
list and isn’t? Who doesn’t and is? Have we come far, or come full circle? We’ll propose. You decide. 

[ 132 ] 

Camera Press 

Damien Hirst photographed 
by Paul Massey, 1992 

The D amien Hirst of the Nau ghty Nine ties 
was a wild man, the cynosure of a 
farouche group of partying artists 

love Damien Hirst — no, really, 
| I do. There are few contemporary 

" British creative types — whether 

artists, impresarios or perform- 
ers — who we couldn’t do without; this does not 
apply to Hirst. No Damien, and there’d be a large, 
Damien-shaped hole left in our culture. I’d’ve liked 
to link this image neatly to Hirst’s own work, but 
unfortunately what it summons up more are the 
strange “inverted” sculptures that his colleague 
Rachel Whiteread produces by, for example, mak- 
ing a room into a giant mould, and then casting its 
space. If you were to make a cast out of this Hirst- 
shaped hole what might it look like? Well, probably 
not much like the Damien I know (slightly). The 
Hirst of the popular imagination is a cachinnating 
monster, deranged by alcohol and drugs, who throt- 
tles sharks and livestock indiscriminately with his 
bare hands, but then stands idly by while his mul- 
tiple assistants undertake the hard graft of chain- 
sawing these animals’ corpses into arty chunks and 
preserving them in formaldehyde. 

No. It’s true, back in the day Hirst was some- 
thing of a party animal; but then, weren’t we all? 
I seem to remember he liked, when inebriated, 
to get his penis out. But I don’t think this was the 
natural extension of his exhibitionism, rather, 
he’s always struck me as an essentially shy person 
whose bravura performances hide his insecurities. 
I never remember the penis being erect. It’s difficult 
now to appreciate quite what a splash the so-called 
Young British Artists made in the late Eighties 
and early Nineties — they were to the somewhat 
becalmed art scene of the time what punk rock had 
been to prog rock in the Seventies: a new and sav- 
age broom that swept all before it. And holding the 
broom’s handle was Hirst: he’d been at Goldsmiths 
art college when, in 1988, he curated a show called 
Freeze in London’s then largely disused Docklands 

which featured the work of his peers. His own first 
audacious animal piece, “A Thousand Years”, fol- 
lowed a couple of years later. It was comprised of 
a glass vitrine, a rotting cow’s head, and a lot of flies 
and maggots. When I first saw this I thought it was 
a heartbreaking work of staggering genius — and 
I still feel the same way. 

As I say, the Hirst of the Naughty Nineties was 
indeed a wild man, and the cynosure of a farouche 
group of partying artists. Yet even then it was 
apparent Hirst was shrewder and steelier than the 
rest of them — a businessman and entrepreneur, 
quite as much as a spendthrift; a collector and 
an impresario quite as much as a creative artist. 
Hirst’s tutelary spirit was, of course, Andy Warhol 
but whereas Warhol followed Marcel Duchamp 
in making art out of ordinary objects in factory 
conditions, Hirst not only viewed his artworks as 
commodities, he viewed the money these com- 
modities were sold for as itself a work of art; or, at 
any rate, as a sort of art material that could then be 
moulded into further artworks, which in turn could 
be commoditised... and so on... and so forth, round 
and round, for 1,000 years — or until the overblown 
bear market in contemporary art finally collapses. 

Hirst effectively shorted the market himself by 
holding a massive Sotheby’s fire-sale of his works 
just before the financial crash of 2007-’08 took hold; 
but even before that he’d managed to pull off some 
astonishing financial arabesques, including his 
outrageous “For the Love of God”, a diamond and 
platinum skull, valued in tens of millions, which, it 
was rumoured, he’d secretly “bought” from himself, 
to inflate its market value. I agree the diamond skull 
and quite a few of the other works, together with all 
the financial jiggery-pokery and the giant folly of 
a country house he’s bought in Gloucestershire and 
stuffed full of his personal collection, should prob- 
ably be entered on the debit side of Hirst’s bought 

ledger account: none of it’s that clever, really, and 
it certainly isn’t funny. The skull and others of his 
works have also been the subject of accusations of 
plagiarism, and that ain’t clever, either. 

However, there’s a great deal more, still, on the 
profit side of his account: some truly original and 
effective artworks, a fantastic art publishing imprint, 
Other Criteria, and a superb new gallery complex in 
south London, a sort of gift to the public. The Hirst 
I hear about is a warm, sympathetic man, a decent 
employer, and when I’ve had the opportunity to 
talk to him quietly, a serious and deeply thoughtful 
one. Hirst, inevitably downbeat and unassuming in 
public nowadays, has the charisma that conceals 
charisma, but he also has another quality, one which 
my mother dubbed “built-in orphan power”. The 
child of a broken home, growing up in working-class 
Leeds in the Seventies, it’s frankly astonishing — and 
enduringly admirable — the way he stormed the 
heights of the art establishment. 

I expect he was deeply wounded by the utter 
contempt with which his show of “easel paintings” 
at The Wallace Collection was received by the 
critics (and the public) a few years ago. It made 
me think back to the launch for one of his glossy 
art books in the Nineties. It was held at the then 
modish and refurbed Quo Vadis restaurant in Soho, 
and tout-the-art-monde was there. But, as I recall 
it, Damien was looking rather lost and vulnerable 
amid the braying aesthetes, bombinating bohemi- 
ans and shake-your-money-maker types. Feeling 
the full force of his built-in orphan power, I couldn’t 
forbear from picking the artist up bodily, cradling 
him in my arms and walking around the party for 
a while, cooing, “Nice Damien, sweet Damien, 
who’s a good Damien.” It seemed like the right 
thing to do at the time, but I fear he’s never really 
forgiven me. And perhaps that’s why, gentle reader, 
I still love him so fervently. E3 

Five infamous 
moments in 
British Art 

Twenty-five years of 
creative majesty and 


Marcus Harvey’s acrylic of 
MyraHindley, and Chris Ofili’s 
elephant dung depiction of the 
Virgin Mary feature at Charles 
Saatchi’s “Sensation” exhibition 


Two Chinese artists jump on 
Tracey Emin’s “My Bed” at the 
Turner Prize exhibition at the 
Tate Gallery and pillow-fight to 
the crowd’s confused applause 


Martin Creed wins the Turner 
Prize for “Work N. 227”: simply 
an empty room at the Tate, 
with the lights going on and 
off every five minutes 


The Chapmans organise Nazi 
figurines in swastika formation 
at the White Cube art gallery 
for “If Hitler Had Been a Hippy 
How Happy Would We Be” 


Banksy paints Apple’s Steve 
Jobs in “The Jungle” camp in 
Calais, nodding to his Syrian 
roots. Migrants reportedly 
soon start charging for views 


[ 133 ] 

Tim Berners-Lee 


o other living per- 
il I son has shaped our 
" ^ lives more than Tim 
Berners-Lee. Even 
when Steve Jobs was alive. The 
personal computer had many archi- 
tects. And the internet, too, was the 
work of dozens of scientists at the US 
Department of Defence goingback to 
the Fifties. But the World Wide Web 
had just one creator, and he built 
it for neither profit nor power. The 
platform on which Mark Zuckerberg 
and Jeff Bezos have built empires 
was given freely to the world by an 
Englishman from south-west Lon- 
don, a modest genius who has fought 
to keep it free and open ever since. 

It’s a measure of Berners-Lee’s 
influence that the web and the 

internet are often regarded as syn- 
onymous. But they’re not. Strictly 
speaking, the internet is the network 
through which computers transfer 
information; the World Wide Web 
is one of the ways in which that 
information is accessed and the 
main one we use (email and instant 
messaging are among the others). 
When we say the internet has trans- 
formed our communication, media, 
science, community, commerce, 
politics, identity — our everything 
— we really mean the web. Because 
before Berners-Lee, the internet was 
largely irrelevant, little more than 
a raggedy quilt of networks in which 
engineers pinged information to 
each other. In the Seventies, Arthur 
C Clarke envisaged a world in which 

Tim Berners-Lee, the man whose 
vision of how the world could 
communicate has had the biggest 
influence on us in the past 25 years, 
photographed in 1996 

15 INTERNET phenomena Nineties: Dancing Baby 

tim berners-lee would 1998: Nigerian Prince emails 

NOT HAVE FORESEEN 1999: goatse.CX 

2004: Hot or Not 
2005: Happy Slapping 
2006: WikiLeaks 

2007: Rickrolling 
2007: Two Girls, One Cup 
2008: Justin Bieber 

2 5 


2 5 

[ 134 ] 

At the 1991 Hypertext 
conference in Texas, his 
paper proposing the web 
was rejected. He went 
anyway and set up a demo 
for delegates. Incredibly, 
they were unimpressed 

regular people would communicate 
through personal computers, but 
until Berners-Lee, no one had done 
anything about it. 

In 1989, he was an Oxford-grad- 
uate physicist working at CERN 
(European Organisation for Nuclear 
Research) in Switzerland, where the 
world’s finest minds smash particles 
into each other in giant accelerators 
in an effort to decode the essential 
building blocks of the universe. 
Berners-Lee managed the computer 
systems, and he was frustrated. 
All these scientists had different 
computers that ran on incompatible 
programs so their data couldn’t eas- 
ily be shared or linked. So, in what he 
describes as “an act of desperation”, 
he came up with the building blocks 
of our online universe instead — 
the common language of HTML, the 
shared information transfer protocol 
of HTTP and the URL conventions 
we know today. 

The Berners-Lee story is internet 
legend by now. And a few lessons 
ring loud and clear. First: innova- 
tion happens on the fringes, not the 
centre. CERN wasn’t interested in 
a new network or transfer protocol; 
its main mission is searching for the 
“God” particle and such like. But 
Berners-Lee had a boss who gave 
him room to play, to indulge in a side 
project and, as he has said, “kick the 
tyres of this new computer we had...” 
Let creative people tinker and they 
might just change the world. 

Lesson two: true genius is vision- 
ary, not technical. Berners-Lee isn’t 
feted for creating HTML, but for the 
imaginative leap that came with it. 
He asked: what if the internet could 
host a vast library of documents that 
people the world over could access 
and add to? Hypertext had already 
been invented. The internet had 
been around for decades in one form 
or another. But it took Berners-Lee 
to put them together in the service of 
a grander idea. 

What distinguishes the web 
among so many technological break- 

2014: Jihadi John 
2015: The Dress 
2016: Sad Ben Affleck 

throughs is it had a moral purpose 
from day one. While the CERN sci- 
entists focused on the smallest parti- 
cles in the universe, Berners-Lee was 
thinking big — about making abetter 
world. The revolution he created was 
no accident — the web was designed 
to make information free, to accel- 
erate and democratise knowledge 
and solve humanity’s problems. The 
web was such a powerful idea that, of 
course, it didn’t take off at once. 

Lesson three: even genius needs 
a sales pitch. Berners-Lee could have 
just surrendered his invention to the 
market of ideas, let others champion 
it if they wanted. But instead, he 
fought for it — he has always fought 
for it — often in the face of oppo- 
sition and indifference. He knew 
that the web, like any network, 
would only impress if it was big, so 
he went out and exhorted his peers 
to participate. At the 1991 Hyper- 
text conference in San Antonio, 
Texas, his paper proposing the web 
was rejected, but he went anyway, 
and set up a demo at the venue for 
passing delegates. Incredibly, they 
were unimpressed. 

Objectors, Berners-Lee told 
the Guardian in 2014, were “people 
with private agendas, or incumbents 
who have existing systems that 
aren’t compatible. But I learned — 
don’t try to bring them on board. 
It’s a waste of time. There’s enough 
people out there who are excited, so 
work with them.” 

And lesson four: keep it free. In 
the early days, a competing system 
called Gopher, run by the University 
of Minnesota, was actually bigger 
than the World Wide Web. But then 

the administrators suggested that 
maybe, just possibly, they would con- 
sider a tiny royalty fee for using the 
network. And just like that, Gopher’s 
numbers crashed. 

Berners-Lee, however, made no 
such demand. He was philosophi- 
cally opposed. He’d built his web on 
the principled conviction that great 
things are possible when free people 
can connect and communicate with- 
out barriers. It’s so ubiquitous today, 
it’s easy to forget that the web is also 
the expression of one man’s values, 
the optimism and altruism of Bern- 
ers-Lee himself. One wonders how 
our digital revolution might look 
had a more mercenary figure been 
in his place. 

Today, 40 per cent of the world is 
connected to the web and the num- 
bers keep rising. And while a dark- 
ness has entered our online lives — as 
governments surveil and censor, and 
corporations push for fast lanes and 
slow — the man who first opened 
the door to it all continues to set 
a luminous example. 

In 1994, Berners-Lee launched 
the Worldwide Web Consortium and 
he has fought ever since to keep the 
web free and open — his optimism 
was never naive. And in the midst of 
all the hungry capitalism and empire 
building of the internet, his own self- 
lessness is an important reminder of 
what the web is really about. It’s not 
theirs, it’s ours. 

“I believe the web is under 
threat,” Berners-Lee once wrote, 
“but the future [of the web] depends 
on ordinary people taking respon- 
sibility for this extraordinary 
resource.” We should listen to him. Q 


[ 135 ] 


[ 136 ] 

Time Out / Camera Press 

A good hangover cure? Other 
than water, and maybe a Berocca. 
a teaspoon of cumin sorts you out 

think I’m generally liked 
| but people who don’t like 

" me can’t fucking stand 

me. Do I care? Not in the 
slightest. I’m fairly consistent, so even 
the ones who don’t like me probably 
understand I’ve got some half-decent 
values. Sometimes, being enthusiastic 
and positive pisses people off. 

“Bollocks” is a good word because you 
can use it freely in America. 

If you don’t do anything then nothing 
happens, so get amongst it. I reckon 
I fuck up about 30 per cent of everything 
I do. You only prosper through having a 
go and not being afraid of taking knocks. 

A “glug” of olive oil is, I would say, about 
a tablespoon. 

It’s not that cool or common for a chef 
to be a complete arsehole in the kitchen 
now. That’s a good thing. Also, we’re all 
struggling for staff so you can’t treat peo- 
ple like that and get away with it. 

If you Google Image me, the last 20 years 
does not look good. It’s just the most 
erratic, nuts selection of haircuts. 

Me and Marco Pierre White don’t get on, 
which is kind of a shame. He was a huge 
influence when I was a teenager but he 
can’t stand me and I’m not that keen on 
him, if I’m honest. I wouldn’t mind mak- 
ing amends — and we probably will one 
day — but maybe not. 

A good hangover cure? Other than water 
— and maybe a Berocca — a heaped tea- 
spoon of cumin sorts you out. It’s quite 
hard to swallow but that works. 

About four years ago, I felt sad for the 
first time. I’m generally a very optimistic 
person but I knew I was just pretending 
to be happy and I wasn’t quite sure why. I 
don’t worry, which is a problem because 
I wasn’t conscious of the complicated 
world I’d created for myself. At the core 
of it all was sleep. I was getting, like, 
three-and-a-half hours sleep a night. 
I got on a journey to fixing it quickly. 

Bad manners really annoy me. Not get- 
ting up if an old person or a pregnant 
woman needs a seat on the bus... I see 
red. People just barging about drives me 
up the wall as well. 

Most of my inspirations have been 
women. Women are often unpretentious 
and they’re more reflective of what’s 
available, what’s near, what’s in season 
and, “I don’t give a fuck if that’s the way 
to chop something. I think this is better 
so fuck you.” I like that. 

I don’t like watching myself on TV 
so I tend not to. It just gets on my tits. It’s 
not nice hearing your own voice, is it? 

There are glass-half-full and glass-half- 
empty people. I know who I want to 
hang around with. Glass-half-empty 
people fucking suck the life out of you. 

Trust is the most powerful trump card 
I’ve got. I’ve always done what I’ve said 
I’d do and I’ve tried what I’ve said I’d try. 
I haven’t done weird things like blowing 
stuff up people’s bums or running off 
with this or that, or any other random 
shit most celebs get caught doing at some 
stage. I’m boring and quite predictable. 

I was all right at the javelin back in the 
day. I’ve always had a pretty good throw. 
I was in the 50m range, which was OK. 

I’m worth a tenth of what people 
say I am. I don’t even know if that would 
be true or not. Anyway, I’m definitely not 
extravagant. Money means some stabil- 
ity, but I’m not motivated by cash more 
than what I think is considered normal. 

In the next 10 years I’m looking forward 
to spending more time with my family, 
getting to India, Peru, and throwing 
more parties. Playing more cards. And 
drinking more whisky, tequila, cacha^a, 
bourbon. Cooking more — I like being in 
a restaurant kitchen, that’s where I’m 
comfortable — and getting in a ham- 
mock more often. Q 
Jamie’s Super Food is currently airing on 
Channel 4. Super Food Family Classics 
(Penguin Random House) is out now 


Chris Packham 

A kids’ TV host with silly hair 
and a twitching passion 
becomes the beacon of British 
springtime. Will he be on-air 
from the Galapagos in his 
nineties? Don’t bet against it. 


Jarvis Cocker 

Like Bennett, Cocker is an 
astute and acerbic satirist 
of modern British life whose 
biting wit can’t help but be 
undermined by his cosy, familiar 
Yorkshire accent. Ooh, lovely. 


Gary Neville 

Housewives’ favourite Hansen 
helped open up the Premier 
League on MotD Just as Neville’s 
astute commentary has won him 
plaudits. Hansen, though, wisely 
avoided managerial waters. 


Michael Portillo 

A Bolton steeplejack and a 
Hertfordshire ToryMP might not 
have much in common, but it’s 
amazing what loving trains can 
do for one’s profile, as both might 
attest (ifDibnah was alive). 


Andy Murray 

Though both have lent their 
names to the same landmass at 
Wimbledon, it’s agreed Murray’s 
two singles titles there somewhat 
eclipse his predecessor reaching 
the quarter-finals that time. 


Robbie Williams 

Rod Stewart is your grandma’s 
favourite strutting pop-rocker 
with a twinkle in his eye and 
clutch of excellent karaoke- 
classic tunes in his repertoire. 
Robbie Williams is your mum’s. 


Daniel Craig 

With the slightest of sideways 
smiles, Connery gave James 
Bond a charisma it seemed 
could never be matched. Until 
Craig’s iteration of 007 — the 
coolest yet, no smile required. 

Seven more unlikely 
national treasures 
to have emerg ed 
since the Nineties 


[ 137 ] 


Sir Alex Ferguson 



1 A 


_ JiJL' 

off* >' 


.^y i > r ^ SK3l 

2 5 


2 5 

[ 138 ] 


Alex Ferguson photographed 
in the dugout at Old Trafford, 
Manchester, March 1992 

n British popular 

I culture of the last 

quarter of a century, 
football has been 
king. There have been pretenders to 
the throne. For a moment the London 
Olympics usurped it. Fashion, food, 
computer games, festivals, reality 
TV and the sorry parade of celebrity 
culture have consumed us, but there 
is nothing to compare to football: 
more punters than the Church of 
England, more ecstatic crowds than 
Glastonbury, bigger TV audiences 
than the royal wedding, more media 
space than all the soap operas put 
together. It has a cast of thousands 
but nobody has lasted longer, won 
more or generated bigger headlines 
than Sir Alex Ferguson. 

In an era when the average ten- 
ure of a Premier League manager 
is less than two years, his 26-year 
stint at Manchester United speaks for 
itself. Since 1991, five years after he 
joined the Red Devils from Aberdeen, 
his teams won 13 Premier League 
titles, four FA Cups, four League Cups, 
the UEFA Champions League twice, 
an Intercontinental and a FIFA Club 
World Cup and nine Community 
Shields. League title number 12 for 
Ferguson made it 19 for Manches- 
ter United in total and Liverpool, 
with 18 championships, were duly 
“knocked off their fucking perch”. 
The 1999 Champions League win 
finally put to bed the ghosts of Sir 
Matt Busby and the 1968 European 
Cup winners. Winning it again 
in 2008 made his position within 
United’s mythological hierarchy 
unassailable. At their best, his teams 
played high-tempo, attacking foot- 
ball with a swagger and self-confi- 
dence that delivered extraordinary 
last-minute goals and victories. 

He was immortalised long before 
his departure from football. Three 
autobiographies and innumerable 
biographies and profiles have long 
been constructing his mythic history 
and ascent. The English language has 
made a place for him. The Oxford Eng- 
lish Dictionary, quoting Ferguson on 
the last stretch of the 2003 title race, 
defines “squeaky-bum time” as “the 
tense final stages of a league compe- 
tition, especially from the point of 
view of the leaders”. In the lexicon 
of football we have had eponymous 
great players — the “Cruyff turn” 
and “Fritz Walter weather” — but 

no coach had been similarly recog- 
nised till “Fergie time” was coined: 
the extraordinary capacity when 
United needed it most, for additional 
time to stretch out. 

Herbert Chapman’s bust sat for 
decades in the marble halls of High- 
bury, but like all the older generation 
of football managers — Stan Cullis, 
Brian Clough, Bill Shankly — they had 
to die before they were publicly com- 
memorated. Ferguson, very much 
alive, has already been cast in bronze 
by “royal sculptor” Philip Jackson. 
In this regard, his only peer is Bobby 
Robson, commemorated at Ipswich 
before his death in 2009. Both were 
knighted, joining Sir Alf Ramsey and 
Sir Matt Busby as the only other foot- 
ball managers so honoured. 

The fate of Manchester United 
since his retirement in 2013 has 
confirmed Ferguson’s stature. In 
a parallel of life after Busby, United 
have been, by their standards, poor 
to calamitous. Anointed successor 
David Moyes proved to be Fer- 
gie-lite. Louis van Gaal’s joyless 
Dutch technocracy was marginally 
more successful but failed to match 
a shadow of the bravado and sporting 
showmanship of Ferguson’s years. 
Whether Jose Mourinho can do any 
better remains to be seen. 

Although a regular presence in 
Old Trafford’s directors’ box, Fergu- 
son has found more time for politics. 
Long a confidant of the inner circle 
of New Labour, and a generous donor 
to the party, he was an important 
voice in the “No” campaign during 
the 2014 Scottish independence 
referendum. The authentic voice 
of Scots who’d gone south to make 
their careers without ever abandon- 
ing their identity and allegiance to 
Scotland, he sparred with national- 
ist leader Alex Salmond over their 

exclusion from the referendum elec- 
torate and appeared in key adverts 
and appeals for the “remainers”. 

Perhaps his most noticeable new 
venture has been his appointment at 
Harvard Business School; a sinecure 
that other New Labour luminaries 
like Eds Miliband and Balls, have 
taken up. Here, academics mined 
Ferguson for his method, yielding 
scholarly articles and the manual, 
Leading. While there is much of pass- 
ing interest in these, to my eye they 
miss what is important about Fer- 
guson, and why he is, if not always 
loved, so venerated. The clue is in 
one of his conversations, completely 
unremarked upon by the Boston 
Brahmins: “It’s a working-class 
thing.” More precisely, it’s a Scottish 
working-class thing. 

“When the wind’s howling down 
the Clyde, that’s what forges your 
character.” Born in 1941 in Govan, 
once the shipbuilding heart of Glas- 
gow, Ferguson is the son of a shipyard 
timekeeper, a child of the old work- 
ing classes of the Great Depression. 
Raised in a tenement without run- 
ning hot water or a bathroom, he 
knew manual work as an apprentice 
toolmaker and fiery shop steward 
before getting his football break at 
St Johnston. Between finishing as a 
player and managing full time at St 
Mirren, he ran an equally fiery pub. 
Although he would go on to earn 
a small fortune, move in circles more 
august than any of his footballing 
predecessors or contemporaries, his 
inner circle has always been drawn 
from his Govan days. Self-educated 
and sharp-minded, he became 
a voracious reader but his speech 
barely shifted. Responding to media 
criticism of Juan Sebastian Veron he 
remarked, “On you go. I’m no’ fucking 
talking to you. He’s a fucking great > 

When the average tenure of a 
Premier League manager is now 
les s than two years. Ferg u son’s 
26 -year stint speaks for itself 


[ 139 ] 



player. Yous are fucking idiots.” 

Above all Ferguson created a foot- 
ball club that really was a collective 
project, in which the common good 
trumped any ego or private interest, in 
which solidarity and mutual respect 
really did translate into the extraor- 
dinary team power of United’s finest 
performances. Neither democrat nor 
saint, he combined theatrical author- 
itarianism in the dressing room with 
public contempt for officials, but it was 
his charisma, human touch, wit and 
will forged in the central belt of Scot- 
land that truly catalysed these teams. 

Football is a social democratic game 
in a neo-liberal world. Hyper commer- 
cialised, privatised, gentrified and sold 
by the pound, its demeanour and icons 
remain resolutely working class. Its 
players still get wages, the manager is 
still the gaffer, its clubs still reflect the 
geography of Victorian England. Our 
collective obsession with a game that 
seemed destined for the scrap heap in 
the Eighties is the long goodbye to the 
industrial working-class Britain that 
forged it. Ferguson’s rise is an echo of 
those times. Of settled and supportive 
community, of a still united kingdom, 
of the possibility of real social mobil- 
ity without the middle-class vault of 
higher education, of rising to the top 
but staying true to where you came 
from. His departure and the futile wait 
for a British successor of such a calibre 
suggests that however much we scruti- 
nise his words, the conditions and the 
culture that moulded him have gone. 
We are all the poorer for it. Q 

Sacha Baron Cohen 


Sacha Baron Cohen (as Borat), photographed at the 
Cannes F ilm Festival, May 2006 

Like it was 

Ten things you’d think had never been away 

Drum ’n’ bass 

Craig David The female midriff 

Cold Feet 

2 5 


2 5 

[ 140 ] 



have been incredibly 
I lucky. And this business 

" is predominantly luck. 

It’s hard to tell others 
to keep following their dreams forever. 
Unlike becoming a surgeon, you can be 
incredibly talented and still unlikely to 
make enough to feed your family. 

Honesty is great, but I’d prefer it if 
someone was funny. It’s actually quite 
hard to make me laugh. 

The funniest people I’ve ever known 
died within weeks of each other: Garry 
Shandling and my dad. My dad was the 
wittiest man I’ve ever met. He could 
spar with the greatest; most of his lines 
were gags. 

When I was 23, 1 went on holiday to 
Astrakhan in south Russia. It was 
incredibly primitive. The plane was 
like a bus, there were people standing in 
the aisle all the way. The woman next to 
me was chewing on a chicken bone and 
reading an anti-Semitic cartoon. Any- 
way, I went to this doctor there and he 
said, “In England you say, ‘Cock! Cock!’ 
But in America they say, ‘Caak! Caak!’ 
Yes?” And I started laughing immedi- 
ately. He was the guy that eventually 
became Borat. I owe him some roubles. 

When I pretended to kill an elderly 
woman at the Bafta-LA Awards, Mel 
Brooks sent me an email saying that the 
gag was a classic. That was one of the 
most satisfying moments of my career. 

In England, being funny is part of 
masculinity. If you’re the funniest guy 
in the room in England, it’s like being 
the richest guy in the room in America. 

Satire challenges the autocrats. In 
mocking the establishment you keep 

their power in check to some degree. 
Although I might just be trying to 
sound like I have an important job. 

I think Americans are more polite than 
the English. If I brought a bag of human 
excrement to the dinner table of a posh 
English family, they’d tell me to get out. 
In high society in the South, they were 
more focused on not offending me. 

Originally, Borat was a disaster. I was 
depressed, the original director left and 
the studio gave us two weeks to replace 
him, or they’d shut it down. So, anyway, 
I went to Garry Shandling’s house — he 
had this basketball game on Sundays 
for comedians — and when I went up 
for a basket, I landed on his foot and 
rolled my ankle. I tore two ligaments. 
But because of that, the insurance paid 
for a three-month hiatus and I man- 
aged to call Peter Baynham, who had 
worked with Coogan on Partridge, and 
together we re-wrote the movie. So 
really, Shandling’s foot saved Borat. 

People in London are direct. If they 
don’t like you, they call you a cunt to 
your face — which I get a lot. But people 
in LA have this pseudo-psychoanalytic 
way of speaking because most of them 
have had therapy. It’s hard to know if 
they think you’re a cunt or not. Which 
makes life a bit challenging. 

Satire becomes easier the more absurd 
the world gets. Part of the success 
of Borat was that it was in the middle of 
the Bush government. When there’s 
frustration and anger, satire feels good, 
it releases some of that energy. 

International politics can be incredibly 
petty. I actually got a letter from Tony 
Blair saying that I’d made the President 
of Kazakhstan’s state visit complicated. 

He’d asked Blair to shut down the 
movie, and Blair had to explain that 
England wasn’t a dictatorship. 

My clown coach, Philippe Gaulier, 
taught me a style of comedy called bouf- 
fon, where if you want to undermine 
someone you insist you’re them, and 
they’re the imposter. So you both end 
up saying, “No, no, I’m the real one.” 

I used it as Borat. When the President 
of Kazakhstan flew to Washington DC, 
partly to try to shut down the movie, 

I held a press conference outside the 
embassy and said that I was the real 
voice of Kazakhstan. It was a medieval 
theory of comedy but it worked. 

I bet the other two writers for Bruno 
I could get celebrities to sit on Mexicans 
as chairs. They said it was impossible, 
but I’d read about the Milgram experi- 
ment, where if you tell someone every- 
one’s doing something, they’re more 
likely to do it. I told the celebrities, “Oh, 
Johnny Depp sat on some Nicaragu- 
ans...” And Paula Abdul and La Toyah 
Jackson both sat on Mexicans. I won. 

I’ll do anything for a joke. In Borat, the 
original naked fight had me sitting on 
Ken [Davitian’s] face. On the day, direc- 
tor Larry Charles said, “It’d be funnier 
the other way around.” I couldn’t argue. 

I told the makeup person, “You have 
to thoroughly clean his rectum. And 
I need a mask for the nose and mouth.” 

But when we did the scene no one could 
find the mask. Ken found it later hidden 
in a part of his tummy. 

When they put me on The Sunday Times 
Rich List in England, I almost sued. 
Most people sue because the list says 
they’re poorer than they actually are, 
but my problem was they’d made me 
richer and I was embarrassed by it. > 


Hi 1 

Winona Ryder The Clintons Plaid shirts Hamburgers Flattops 


[ 141 ] 

Alexander McQueen photographed 
by Rebecca Lewis, Exmouth 
Market, London, 2005 


Everything is shit until it isn’t. In any 
creative work, it’s very unlikely it’s 
going to be good at first. You have to 
have faith and work on it till it’s good. 
I’m in the turd-polishing business. 

On the night of the premiere of Da 
Ali G Show in America, The Evening 
Standard headline was “Ali G bombs 
in America”, and the Guardian wrote 
this in-depth analysis about why. But 
it wasn’t true! They were so commit- 
ted to this idea that American and 
English humour are different. But 
I don’t think they are. 

There’s this great camaraderie among 
comedians in LA. In England, people 
work in their individual fiefdoms, but 
[in LA], they offer advice on each oth- 
ers’ projects. If Seth [Rogen] and Evan 
[Goldberg] have a movie, they’ll get my 
thoughts on it and vice versa. They’ve 
realised that if comedy is successful 
it’s good for everyone because they’ll 
make more comedies. 

In Arkansas, there’s a public decency 
statute loophole that allows you to 
simulate gay sex onstage, even though 
the law was meant for straight sex. 

Danger isn’t thrilling, it’s scary. I’m 
not very brave. At the end of Bruno, 
there’s this gay scene in the middle 
of a cage fight, and it felt like there 
was a 50-50 chance I’d go to hospital 
in a significant way. You’ve got your 
crew there, you don’t want to waste 
their time and you want to give the 
audience something they’ve never 
seen. That’s the impetus. I guess I can 
overcome my fear and just do it. Q 





hen Lee McQueen 

W died, in 2010, aged 
40, it had been two 
years since I’d seen 
him. We were not friends (that “Lee” 
suggests no intimacy; it’s what he 
was called), but I interviewed him 
at length, on a number of occasions, 
and without knowing him well 
I liked and admired him very much. 
He was not especially articulate 
in conversation, he did not enjoy 
talking to journalists, but once the 
barriers were down he was warm, 
intelligent and thoughtful, and his 
exquisite clothes and the fantastic 
theatricals he created in which to 
display them spoke eloquently for 
him, and for themselves. 

The cartoon of McQueen that 
emerged after his suicide was of 
a tortured genius with an extreme 
predilection for the melancholy 
and the macabre. Doubtless there’s 
truth in that, but it makes it sound 
like it must have been painful to be 
around him. It wasn’t. The McQueen 
I spent time with could be frosty and 
tart but he also laughed a lot, and 
he certainly made me laugh. Why, 

I once asked him, were so many gay 
men drawn to designing women’s 
clothes? “Because we’re too scared 
to be plumbers,” he said. 

He had an original eye: he saw 
things differently. He spent a good 
deal of time telling me about his col- 
lection of photographs by Joel-Peter 
Witkin (freakish tableaux, mangled 
body parts). He liked Witkin, he 
said, because “he takes something 
quite grotesque and turns it into 
something beautiful. The more I talk 
about his work and the more people 
ask me about it, the more I go back to 
the Witkins in my house and look at 
them and think, ‘Is there something 
wrong with me for liking this stuff?’ 
Because other people do find them 
very disturbing. But I always come 
away thinking I like it for the right 
reasons: because it changes my mind 
about what is beauty and what is 
not.” What is beauty? That question 
was absolutely key to McQueen. 

His shows were startling. In 
2001, McQueen staged a collec- 
tion behind a two-way mirror that 
culminated with a huge glass box 
shattering to reveal a naked model 

2 5 


2 5 

[ 142 ] 

Camera Press 

McQueen could be frosty and tart. Bu t 
he also made me la u gh. Why do g a y 
men design women’s clothes? ‘Because 
we’re too scared to be plumbers 9 

surrounded by hundreds of live 
moths. “I find moths just as beauti- 
ful as butterflies,” he said to me, his 
voice soft and adenoidal. “Plus they 
only appear at night. There’s more 
beauty at night, when the lights are 
off, than there is in the day.” Dark, 
yes, eerie. But beautiful and moving. 

He was the son of a taxi driver 
and a teacher, from Bow. It was his 
mother who saw an advertisement 
for apprentices on Savile Row and 
guided him towards Anderson 
& Sheppard, where he learned pat- 
tern cutting. “You’ve got to know the 
rules to break them,” he said to me. 
“That’s what I’m here for: to demol- 
ish the rules but keep the tradition.” 

I visited him at his Clerkenwell 
studio, watched him fit fabric on 
to models, wielding his scissors 
while his English bull terrier, Juice, 
charged around the room. McQueen 
was an artisan and proud of it: 
“I don’t create art. That won’t put 
dinner on my plate. I create clothes 
for people to wear.” Propped in 
a corner of the room, silently, deci- 
sively and gorgeously contradicting 
him, were the pair of ornately carved 
wooden legs that he once made for 
the double amputee athlete, Aimee 
Mullins, to strut down his catwalk. 

McQueen was not comfortable 
with fame. “I’m not good it,” he said. 
“I’m too private. If I’m partying then 
I don’t give a shit who sees me. But 
take the piss out of me and I’ll come 
up and thump you.” He didn’t care 
much for glamour. “Glamour? I’ve 
got odd socks on!” International 
travel was “just travel — I can’t stand 
it”. Fine dining was “just food.” He 
once complained to me of his disgust 
at having to travel in “space wagons” 
— the people carriers rented to ferry 
him around. This was an aesthetic 
consideration: they were ugly. He 
only wanted to go in saloon cars. 
He knew I found this funny; he was 
playing the diva to make me laugh. 

He suffered setbacks (a marriage 
that didn’t last, an unhappy period 
at Givenchy) but he was proud of 
his success. “So many designers go 
bankrupt,” he said. “We never have. 
I want McQueen to keep growing. 
It’s either onwards or nothing at all.” 

His horrible, sad ending should 
not be allowed to obscure the fact 
that he was the most gifted fashion 
designer of his generation, one of the 
greatest ever. □ 


[ 143 ] 

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke in the video for 
‘No Surprises’, 1997 


Tim Bevan 
and Eric Fellner 





n 1997, when 

I your corre- 

still had the 
constitution for midweek 
drinking, Radiohead’s bassist 
Colin Greenwood used to join 
us in the pubs of Stockwell. At 
a friend’s flat after last orders 
one night, Colin asked if he 
could put a tape on. The band 
had finished some stuff, he 
said, and they weren’t sure 
whether it was any good. 

This is how I first heard 
OK Computer, the album that 
marked Radiohead’s elevation 
from mere best-in-class rock 
band to pathfinders for a new 
century, quantum scientists 
of sound. I think Colin knew 
it was good all along. 

OK Computer was just 
the beginning, of course. 
Subsequently Radiohead 
would dive deep into the 
seething subconscious of 
modern electronica on Kid 
A /Amnesiac, questioning the 
unthinking ritual of rock 
music in a world of infinitely 
malleable sound. With later 
records like In Rainbows and 

2016’s A Moon Shaped Pool 
they arrived at a compelling 
replacement for the spent 
form of the rock song. Their 
obsessively worked swatches 
of feeling would capture the 
confusion, dislocation, fear 
and occasional elation of life 
in the 21st century. 

They changed the indus- 
try, too. By releasing 2007’s In 
Rainbows without warning, 
direct to fans on a pay-what- 
you-want deal, Radiohead 
overturned a deadening, mar- 
keting-led approach which 
made music into a commodity 
instead of an event. 

Singer Thom Yorke’s poli- 
tics and impressionistic danc- 
ing are acquired tastes, sure. 
His edicts against Spotify can 
sound Luddite. But would 
Radiohead have dragged rock 
music sideways to the future 
without some need for vindi- 
cation in their hearts? 

“Bands are like battery 
hens these days,” Yorke told 
me in 2008. “You need to have 
gone through that battery hen 
process, like we did, to have 
the nerve to say ‘fuck you’.” □ 

2 5 

s far as Hollywood 

A goes, it’s tempting 
to paraphrase Colin 
Welland’s famous 
remark: “the British are coming”... 
but do they ever entirely arrive? Our 
actors have always been loved there 
and nowadays pass for Americans 
with perfectly fabricated accents; 
our technicians and creatives enjoy 
the highest regard and studio facil- 
ities here have historically been 
the nursery for iconic US movies. 
But do our producers have clout on 
the Hollywood level? Two of them 

do, actually. Or almost. Tim Bevan 
and Eric Fellner of the production 
powerhouse Working Title have 
for decades been a distinctively 
British-based creative team that 
punches above its weight on both 
sides of the Atlantic. 

New Zealand-born Bevan and 
Brit Fellner are our equivalent of 
Harvey Weinstein, smart moguls 
with studio-sized ambitions and 
Olympic stamina — acquiring 
properties, nurturing writers, 
cultivating directors and shrewdly 
maintaining relationships with the 

[ 144 ] 

Getty I Rex I The Guardian 

big American players, chiefly WT’s 
longtime owner Universal, with 
whose resources they can produce 
anything they like up to a budget of 
$35m without anyone’s say-so. 

They had their big break- 
through in 1994 with the Richard 
Curtis romantic comedy Four 
Weddings and a Funeral, a movie 
about Hugh Grant’s shy Englishman 
diffidently charming Andie Mac- 
Dowell’s sexy, worldly American 
woman. Was that a parable for Tim 
and Eric’s seduction of the US indus- 
try? Maybe. They became known 
for other smashes like Notting Hill 
and Bridget Jones’s Diary, and it’s 
become commonplace to deride that 
signature upper-middle-posh vision 
of Britain. I can only say that the 

Working Title/Hugh Grant/Richard 
Curtis romantic comedies remain 
tremendously watchable after 20 
years: Notting Hill gave Julia Roberts 
the best role of her career. 

But Bevan and Fellner also 
produced the Coen brothers’ Fargo, 
The Big Lebowski and A Serious 
Man, Edgar Wright’s “Cornetto” 
comedies, Joe Wright’s Atonement 
and Pride 8t Prejudice and also Paul 
Greengrass’s United 93 — the best 
film about 9/11. Their Oscar winners 
include The Theory of Everything, 
about Stephen Hawking, and The 
Danish Girl, about transgender artist 
Lili Elbe. They are a virtual industry 
in themselves, and Tim and Eric are 
sleek and resplendent with success, 
healthy and beaming. 

Tim Bevan, left, and Eric Fellner 
photographed by Dan Chung, 
April 2005 

And they really are passionate 
about what they do. It extends to 
making their views clear to critics. 
After a disobliging review I wrote 
about their film Frost/Nixon (actu- 
ally, it was better than I gave it 
credit for) I received a crisp email 
from Eric inviting me to phone him 
at my earliest convenience so that 
he could “discuss” this review with 
me. The conversation had a certain 
froideur. I once sat near Eric at 
a lunch in Cannes and, in a slightly 
cheeky spirit of raillery, pitched him 
a movie biopic about a positive ver- 
sion of Richard III, without Shake- 
speare’s villainous spin. Hearing 
me out patiently, but fixing me with 
a veiled gaze, Eric said only: “Show 
me the finished print” — and I had an 
idea of what it must be like to please 
him in a creative sense. But many of 
my good reviews and even the iffy 
ones are also met with cheerfully 
good-humoured emails. Fellner 
and Bevan care about what they 
do. They have survived changes in 
financial weather, corporate culture 
and critical fashion, and still make 
very successful movies. Whether 
they like it or not, they are becoming 
national treasures. Q 





1 L t 



: <ss 


1 * * 



/i \ 

J . ^ | 

, I '1 1 i 11 

1 1 1 

Hi * - 





2 5 y ears of 

Men on film: eight homegrown 
movies we all went to see 

Top row: 

Naked (Mike Leigh, 1993) 

Shallow Grave (Danny Boyle, 1994) 

Nil by Mouth (Gary Oldman, 1997) 

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels 
(Guy Ritchie, 1 998) 

Bottom row: 

Sexy Beast (Jonathan Glazer, 2000) 

24 Hour Party People (Michael Winterbottom, 2002) 
Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004) 

Sky fall (Sam Mendes, 2012) 




25 British 
women we 
have loved 
since 1991 


T Lily Allen 
Clare Balding 
The women of 
The Big Breakfast: 
Kelly Brook/Denise 
van Outen/Gaby 
Roslin/Paula Yates 
Kathy Burke 
Julia Davis 


T Tracey Emin 
Jessica Ennis-Hill 
Girls Aloud 
Keira Knightley 

The “Ladies” of 
Little Britain 

t Mrs Merton 

[ 145 ] 


2 5 

Jeremy Paxman 



2 5 

[ 146 ] 


Jeremy Paxman, photographed 
by Greg Williams, London, July 2016 

l s m not a fan of the French. It is 
a ridiculous country. They’re easy 
to wind up. A bit like the Jocks 

here are several irritat- 

T ing things about life. 

One is that you have to 
live it looking forward 
but can only understand it looking 
backwards. Another is you may not 
think you are a very different person to 
what you were when you were 25, but 
your body tells you that you’re not. But 
by and large, I am part of the luckiest 
generation that has ever lived. 

All judgements about how the world 
should be run are made by people who 
are just as fallible, just as noble-minded, 
just as vainglorious, just as foolish as 
you or me or anyone else in the room. 
When we think there is something 
different about those who deter- 
mine our fates, we are making a very 
serious mistake. 

The only reason I’ve ever done any- 
thing is because it seems interesting at 
the time. I once got to 20,000 words of 
a novel, a sort of state-of-Britain thing, 
just for fun. I decided it was rubbish, 
printed it out and burned it in the back 
garden. It was cathartic. It reminded 
me slightly of Harold Macmillan, who 
discovered the letters between his wife 
and her lover and burned them all. 
Putting something out of your mind 
and saying, “Well, I don’t really want to 
think about that.” 

I don’t believe that what I have to say 
to the world on a day-to-day basis is 
inherently more interesting than what 
anyone else has to say. This whole 
social media game has about it an 
intrinsic arrogance. 

I was born in Leeds because both my 
parents were from Yorkshire. My father 
used to say that this was because, at the 
time, Yorkshire County Cricket Club 
could only play players who were born 
in Yorkshire. Sadly, I wasn’t much good 
at cricket. I really wish I had been. I am 
perfectly happy to confess to an unrea- 
sonable pride in being able to claim to be 
a Yorkshireman. Yorkshire people are 
wonderfully arrogant and I plead guilty 
to that. Born in Middlesex? What’s 
the point in belonging to Middlesex? 
There’s no point at all. 

I don’t talk about my children or any- 
thing like that. My view is perfectly 
straightforward on this. Anyone else is 
entitled to say what they like or make 
public what they like about themselves, 
but it’s not up to others. I’ve never asked 
anyone about his or her private life. 

I’m not a fan of the French. It is a ridic- 
ulous country. Ours is a pragmatic 
culture, theirs is a theoretical culture. 
And they’re very easy to wind up. 
A bit like the Jocks, you know? It’s good 
fun winding up the Jocks. Although 
I am a quarter Scottish: like everyone in 
these islands, I am a mongrel. If I was 
a Scotsman, I would see nothing to fear 
in independence at all. I don’t see any- 
thing to fear from the break-up of the 
union. It would be a good thing for the 
English, to force them to address what 
it is that makes this lazy country what it 
is. I’m not worried about that. 

Telling people something so that they 
can say, “Well, I never knew that.” 
That’s the thing. 

Asking “why” is the only important 
question. Most of us, in my trade, spend 
our times asking how or when or what. 
Really we should be asking why and 
that does interest me a lot. I don’t know 
what the answer is. I went to a funeral 
yesterday, at a crematorium but it had 
a religious context, which attempts to 
give meaning — not to the corpse, obvi- 
ously — to something that will happen 
to us all, but I’m not sure it succeeded. 
I wish it did. I would like to know. 

The great lie about fly-fishing is that 
banal response people have: “I couldn’t 
do it because it requires too much 
patience, which I haven’t got.” It actu- 
ally requires no patience at all because 
you are constantly engrossed; you’re 
watching a trout that’s coming up and 
you’re trying to work out what kind of 
fly it’s taking and whether you’ve got an 
imitation you can drop on the water in 
a plausible fashion. It’s a deeply unglam- 
orous activity but I enjoy it. 

There are politicians with whom 
I would be happy to spend an evening. 

I don’t have politicians as friends. You 
must be able to trust your friends. 

Seeing people shot or seeing dead bod- 
ies, people who have died violent deaths, 
creates an impression in you that you 
can never, never erase. [Working as 
a BBC TV news correspondent in con- 
flict zones] I came to feel sympathy for 
and admire but nonetheless look rather 
sceptically at those freelance pho- 
tographers who live for the next cover 
of Time or Newsweek or whatever, and 
were therefore required to be near the 
action. TV requires you to be near 
the action, or it did then. Writing, you 
can do some way back, although I had 
several friends who were killed writing. 

I don’t think you ever really blank these 
memories from your mind. 

I love students and am amazed by their 
enthusiasm. I know it’s not fashionable 
to say you like students, but I don’t care. 

I’m impressed by what they know and 
occasionally astonished by what they 
don’t know. The best of them under- 
stand that University Challenge is a quiz 
that has to be taken seriously but it is 
only a bloody stupid quiz. 

I don’t feel old and I have no intention 
of getting out of the saddle, as it were. 
Although there is a good argument for 
saying that old people should. We’ve 
got a big problem with old people in 
this country. There are far too many of 
them around, they get in the way and 
distort the whole democratic process. 
People go on about lowering the voting 
age to 16. 1 can’t see any point in doing 
that. I would just stop old people voting. 
Politicians defer to them, because they 
know they go out and vote. The first 
concession they make is to guarantee 
that young people, or younger people, 
will have to carry on working in order 
to pay old people’s pensions. Clearly, as 
long as people are working, they should 
have a say in the government that for- 
cibly removes money from their wallet. 

But once they’re net beneficiaries, they 
should be stopped from voting. > 



Sienna Miller 
Caitlin Moran 

t Patsy from Ab Fab 
JK Rowling 

Zadie Smith 
Jane Tennison 
Emma Watson 
Rachel Weisz 

t Amy Winehouse 
Kate Winslet 
Kirsty Young 

[ 147 ] 

JEREMY PAXMAN Continued... 

My iron rule when cycling is: if you are 
at a road junction and there’s a car there 
and you’ve not had eye contact with the 
driver, that driver probably hasn’t seen 
you. It’s not that drivers want to kill you, 
they just haven’t registered you. 

What sort of person would drive a 4x4 
in London? Wankers. 

Everybody has a story. When they 
approached me to do Who Do You 
Think You Are?, I said I’m not interested 
in family history. They came back and 
said, “We can’t tell you what we’ve 
found out but we guarantee you will 
find it interesting.” It was fascinating. 
I realised that sort of experience is true 
of everybody. You don’t have to go far: 
talk to anyone and ask them about their 
lives. We’ve all got fascinating tales 
because human beings are intrinsically 
interesting: silly things, great things, 
noble things. 

My other conclusion about human 
beings generally is that, if you give 
them the chance, they are inclined to 
be kind. Most people are decent. You 
might be unlucky and have some bad 
experiences — we’ve all had those 
— but most people are intrinsically 
decent. Of course, as a journalist you 
are cantankerous. It’s the nature of the 
trade. I cannot be answerable for what 
other people have said about me. Peo- 
ple make value judgements. Those who 
say, “Mr Rude” or “Mr Dyspeptic”, they 
are going to say those things. I hope it’s 
not true. 

I love live telly. There’s something 
about the requirement to consolidate 
and perform when that red light goes 
on. Everybody is nervous. As time goes 
by you get less apprehensive, but with- 
out any kind of apprehension, I don’t 
think you’d be interesting to watch or 
listen to. 

Take Me Out is a great show. It’s very 
funny. I love the fact that everyone has 
been prepped with some remark along 
the lines of, “I love marshmallows and 
you can marsh my mallow any time.” 
But what did I watch the other day? 
Is it You’ve Been Framed ? It is terrible! 
Absolutely awful! You can’t believe that 
they’ve got on air. Q 
A Life in Questions (William Collins) 
is out now 

Brit-lit classics 

The Quantity Theory of Insanity 

by Will Self (1991) 


Fever Pitch 

by Nick Hornby (1992) 

Nick Hornby photographed 
by Dan Burn-Forti, 2009 

G O O N E R 

Nick Hornby 


was at an American 

I wedding once and 

there was a dinner 
where everybody 
spoke. They were lovely people 
and everyone who spoke was 
smart and funny, but I like to know 
when things are coming to an end. 

When I’d get stuck with work, I’d 
walk away from my desk and sit 
down with the Guardian cryptic 
crossword. But then you develop 
a situation where you’re stuck on two 
things, work and the crossword. So 
a few months ago, I switched to jig- 
saws. You never get stuck on a jigsaw, 

you just sort of plod through and it 
empties your mind. I just did the Sgt 
Pepper’s cover. You know those flow- 
ers that spell out “Beatles”? None of 
the pieces are big enough to look like 
a letter, they’re just red flowers you 
then have to arrange. That was the 
hardest thing I’ve ever done in my 
life, including writing books. 

I’m still in therapy. I’ll always go, 
I think. I stop and start. This last 
six months I haven’t been going but 
I know that I will go back. It comes 
down to times where I am madden- 
ing myself or getting stuck in ways 
of thinking. 

2 5 


Bravo Two Zero 

by Andy McNab (1993) 

honest.- BAR 


[ 148 ] 

Eight British books you bought (and maybe even read) since 1991 


by Irvine Welsh (1993) 

Man and Boy 

by Tony Parsons (1999) 

Ian McEwaiv 


by Ian McEwan (2005) 

The Line of Beauty The Damned Utd 

by Alan Hollinghurst (2005) by David Peace (2006) 

I ran out of things to say about the 
slightly hopeless blokes I used to 
write about. One thing I’ve thought 
in retrospect is that the situation of 
the slightly hopeless bloke is essen- 
tially undramatic, because nobody’s 
stopping him from doing what he 
wants to do apart from himself. 

The thing about writing parts for 
young women [Hornby wrote the 
screenplays for An Education, Wild 
and Brooklyn], is that there are 
outside forces preventing them from 
doing most things. Natural dramatic 
conflict. It wasn’t like I ever set out 
to do it; we stumbled across the 
material for An Education. One of 
the big realisations for me was that 
if you write a really good part for 
a young woman, you get the best 
young women in the world to be 
in it. If you write a really good part 
for a young man, you get loads of 
responses like, “Yeah, I really like 
this but I’ve just been offered $40m 
to put on a superhero suit.” 

When it got to Oscar nomination 
day for An Education, I thought the 
phone would ring and someone 
would say, “Are you sitting down?” 
In fact what happens is you get 
an email the night before saying, 
“Please be ready by your phone and 
you’ll be doing the first press 10 min- 
utes after the nominations.” At this 
point you haven’t even been nom- 
inated. Then you get a nomination 
and you think, “Thank fuck for that.” 

The idea that we all gather around 
a work of fiction and it represents 
the country and we all talk about it 
— that’s going, or gone. 

Books, music, TV and films have 
consumed my life. My connection to 
them meant that, from quite a young 
age, I didn’t think I’d be able to live 
a normal life. The feelings they gave 
me meant that I wouldn’t be happy 
trying to sell soap. 

When Fever Pitch came out, of course 
it was great, but it was a memoir 
about football and I was offered lots 
of other books about football. That 
seemed to me like a very bad way 
to go. All I ever wanted to do was 
keep it going, and get the chance to 
do the kind of interesting work that 
I wanted to do. But the longer your 
career goes on, the more you realise 
that it’s actually quite fragile. If you 
stop thinking that you’re in trouble. 

You are really not famous as a writer. 

But the money’s good and no one 
bothers you. 

Family life has been really compli- 
cated. It’s kind of hilarious if you’ve 
got a child with a disability [Horn- 
by’s eldest son has severe autism] 
and you split up with your wife. You 
sort of say, “That’s it, we’re getting 
divorced — see you at 4 o’clock.” You 
get through in three weeks what 
might take other couples three years. 

I know couples who’ve split up and 
don’t go in each other’s houses. We 
literally couldn’t do that. My wife 
[with whom Hornby has two sons] 
and my ex-wife see each other all the 
time. It feels like two families with 
separate houses. 

If you can combine comedy and mel- 
ancholy, it feels more representative 
of a life than almost anything else. > 

NICK HORNBY Continued... 

My dad left when I was about nine 
and went to live in a different coun- 
try, so there was no regular father- 
son relationship. The trouble with 
that is you can be walking around 
thinking, “Well, I’m not living in 
a different country, I’m a great 
father.” So in terms of fatherhood 
being done well or done badly, I don’t 
have that consciousness from my 
father. I’ve had to make it up. 

I don’t think anything prepares you 
for the particular character of your 
children and the circumstances they 
find themselves in. There are some 
things that are completely madden- 
ing, like bloody Arsenal. My two 
youngest boys get destroyed by bad 
results. I’m going, “Oh God, it’s only a 
game”, but they’re 13 and 12. They’ve 
been into it since they’ve been about 
five or six. There was a time when 
I was quite happy not taking them, 
actually. It was like, “I’m off to the 
football now”, and suddenly you’re 
taking two little kids who weep most 
of the time because it’s so crap. 

I didn’t learn to drive until I was over 
40. After I got divorced, I needed 
to pick my son up from school and 
forced myself to pass my test, first 
time, despite all instincts. But since 
he left school I’ve stopped. It made 
me feel sick with nerves, and when 
I had two scrapes in a week I decided 
that discretion was the better part 
of valour. 

I still go to quite a lot of gigs. I try and 
make sure I see people I want to see. 
I do like finding new bands. I’m a big 
Spotify person and I’ll make a Spotify 
playlist for friends who’ve stopped 
listening to new music. The one 
I made recently, it sounds like it was 
made in 1956. All new music, made 
this year, people like JD McPherson, 
the rockabilly guy. Well within my 
comfort zone. 

The last couple of years, I’ve finally 
got jazz. I know it’s the cliche of my 
age, but it’s fantastic. I was reading 
something, and suddenly thought 
I was fed up of everything I listen to 
being in 4/4 and sounding more or 
less the same, I’d like to hear some- 
thing different. I found the right jazz 
and that was that. 

The best thing about influence: if 
something goes in right, and comes 
out right, the other person wouldn’t 
know that you’ve ripped them off. 

I lost my hair when I was in my 
mid-twenties. I didn’t want to be 
a TV presenter and I had girlfriends: 
if either of those things were dif- 
ferent, it might have been more 
problematic. Then, of course, you 
get older and everyone starts going 
bald and now I really like getting the 
clippers out, and that’s it: done. 

Writing is a very bad job for feeling 
at the end of the day that you have 
done something because most times 
I haven’t done what I have intended 
to. One thing that makes me feel 
OK is if I’ve gone to the gym for an 
hour and sweated a lot. I come back 
and feel reasonably calm. It helps 
to keep fit, but it’s more for the head 
than the body. 

I am so old I have smoked every- 
where. Planes. Tubes. Hospitals. 
First time I had a knee operation, 
after doing something playing foot- 
ball, I came round in the ward and 
there was this fug of smoke, these 
young men who had either come off 
motorbikes or done their cartilages. 
Ashtrays by the beds. Now, I vape 
3mg of nicotine a day. That’ll do me. 
Zero I can’t do. But I really like the 
flavours, they’re fantastic. 

I don’t think it’s possible to recreate 
the intensity that you feel when you 
don’t know anything about any- 
thing. I still get enormous pleasure 
from discovering new things, but 
the sense of being lasered by some- 
thing in your teenage years and early 
twenties, when you’re a blank sheet 
of paper and people are writing on 
you for the first time — it’s hard to 
recreate that in your fifties. 

When I go to a football match with 
an American, I always feel nervous 
and think, “Just don’t let it be 0-0.” 
Unless they are being annoying 
about it, in which case I want it to be 
0-0. 1 took Michael Chabon and his 
boys, and I wanted them to see goals. 
It finished Arsenal 7, Newcastle 3. 
It was like his boys had had 15 shots 
of espresso. The youngest one had 
the retainers on his teeth made red 
and white. Q 

2 5 


2 5 

[ 150 ] 



William and 
Harry Windsor 



ut what, you might 
ask, are they actually 
/or? It’s easy to be 
sceptical about the 
two princes. Privileged, rich, leading 
a life of indolence and ease, with bur- 
densome royal “duties” that seem to 
consist of little more than smiling on 
cue for the camera — not much cause 
for sympathy there, it might seem. 

But consider this. Your mother, 
elevated to the status of a secular 
saint, dies when you are 15 (in Wil- 
liam’s case, 12 in the case of Harry). 
Rather than being allowed to grieve 
in private, duty — the old-fashioned 
word that will come to dominate 
your life — demands that you walk in 
the funeral cortege, in the full scru- 
tiny of a global television audience 
estimated at 2.5bn people. Thereaf- 
ter you are the property of the world. 
Your life, quite literally, is no longer 
your own. Your future is pre-or- 
dained. Your every movement and 
utterance is scrutinised and judged. 
You are fawned over and criticised 
in equal measure. Your girlfriends 
will be subject to the same rigorous 
scrutiny, and found wanting; your 
indiscretions the stuff of public 
amusement and faux outrage. If your 
name is Prince Harry, what happens 
in Vegas has a snowball in hell’s 
chance of staying in Vegas. 

As the likely heir to the throne. 
Prince William has done what Prince 
William was supposed to do. Euro- 
pean princesses being rather thin 
on the ground these days, and in the 
spirit of egalitarianism the spin-ma- 
chine behind the Royal Family is 

The princes 9 
lives are not 
their own. Every 
movement and 
is ju dged a nd 

Princes Harry and William shake 
hands after competing on opposing 
polo teams. Ascot, June 2011 

keen to promote, he has married 
a nice, sensible, middle-class English 
girl and produced two children who 
will ensure the continuity of the 
crown and be a boon for retailers of 
children’s clothes, manufacturers 
of postcards and commemorative 
mugs and plates as well as the 
paparazzi for years to come. 

Stolid and utterly conventional, 
he is as comforting a fixture in the 
national psyche as The Great British 
Bake Off. 

Life is more difficult for Harry. 
Fifth in line to the throne, his is a life 
where he has to invent something for 
himself. Initially this seemed largely 
to consist of playing the essential 
role of the troubled child — smoking 
dope, falling drunk out of nightclubs, 
wearing Nazi outfits to fancy-dress 
parties, being linked to a succession 
of pretty, and not altogether suitable, 
young women. But recently, in that 
way you sometimes do with public 
figures, more and more nowadays 
I find myself rather liking Harry. 

The missteps have made him 
all the more human. More than the 
forced show of being “fun” that it is 
necessary for any royal to summon 
when the occasion demands it, he 
appears to have a genuine, irreverent 
sense of humour. He has his mother’s 
common touch, and her touch of 
showbiz. He is touchy-feely, but in 
a spontaneous and unembarrassing 
way. He seems a decent man, as his 
support for servicemen, his creation 
of the Invictus Games demonstrates. 
He wears his privilege lightly. 

If the world admires William, 
it loves Harry. What are they for? 
Essentially to be the best possible 
public relations men that the Royal 
Family, and by extension the coun- 
try, could possibly wish for. Neither 
chose to be a prince, but having 
drawn the short straws, both, in 
their own very different ways, do it 
rather well. Q 


[ 151 ] 

Tony Blair in his suite at 
the Ritz- Carlton Herzliya, 
Israel, 10 September 2016 

O n the morning of our final meeting for 
this article, in mid-September, Tony 
Blair gave me a tour of the art on display 
in his London office. On a wall facing his desk, on 
the far side of a substantial room, is a 19th-cen- 
tury painting of a Cairo street scene. On another, 
a present from Cherie, Blair’s wife: a black and 
white photograph of an Orthodox Jew sitting 
beside a market stall. On a third wall, a painting 
of pilgrims on the outskirts of Jerusalem, also 
19th-century. Most imposing is a large map of 
Africa and the Middle East. As we looked at it, 
Blair marvelled at the size of Africa, and then he 
pointed out Israel — we’d been there, together, 
a few days earlier — and remarked on how tiny it is 
compared to the Arab states surrounding it. 

We continued the tour. Alongside the family 
snaps of Tony and Cherie and their four children, 
now all grown up, there’s an eye-catching photo- 
graph of two small boys playing football on a dirt 
pitch in, he thinks, Rwanda — another country 
we’d visited together. Looking around the room, 

I made some bland comment on the fact he was 
surrounded by images of his present preoccupa- 
tions, the concerns he spends the majority of his 
time on, and that he returns to most regularly in 
conversation: peace in the Middle East, economic 
and political development in Africa. 

I confess I hadn’t noticed that other than 
a maquette for a statue of Harold Wilson, the 
Labour prime minister of the Sixties and Sev- 
enties, there were no obvious representations of 
Britain, or Britishness. But I think Blair noticed, 
suddenly, because as soon as I made my remark he 
took off at a clip, opened the doors to an adjoining 
sitting room — I grabbed my voice recorder and 
scuttled along behind him — and began to talk me 
through the pictures on the walls: British scenes 
by British artists. It’s a fraught business, the giving 
of interviews, the management of a public reputa- 
tion, especially one such as his. 

The Office of Tony Blair is an organisation — 
you might even say an idea — as well as a physical 
space. It is headquartered, for the moment, in 
a terraced townhouse — stucco ground floor, brick 
above — on a corner of Grosvenor Square: prime 
Mayfair real estate. Blair left Downing Street in 
2007 with, as he put it to me, “three people and 
four mobile phones: no office, no back-up, no noth- 
ing.” In the nine years since, he has built a new 
infrastructure to enable him to do all the things 
he wants to do. (There are many.) He now employs 
around 200 people on his various ventures, phil- 
anthropic and otherwise. These are funded by his 
own money, earned through his commercial work, > 

Blair at the offices of 
the Quartet on the Middle 
East, East Jerusalem, 

9 September 2016 

2 5 


2 5 

[ 154 ] 


[ 155 ] 

as well as the donations of high net- worth individ- 
uals (extremely rich people, in human-speak), and 
in some cases, the aid and overseas development 
budgets of foreign governments. Building this 
organisation has been perhaps his most consum- 
ing task since stepping down as prime minister. 

Like the American embassy on the other side 
of Grosvenor Square, which is to relocate south of 
the river, the Blair office is to move to more mod- 
ern surroundings. He is bringing all his different 
enterprises under one roof. He estimates he 
already spends 80 per cent of his time on pro bono 
work, and it is his intention to close down the busi- 
ness side of his operation, Tony Blair Associates, 
winding up both Firerush (which advises govern- 
ments) and Windrush (which advises individuals). 
He will keep some of his paid-for consultancies 
— the most lucrative of which is his work as an 
adviser to JP Morgan, the American bank, which 
pays him £2m each year — and he will still accept 
speaking engagements, but the more (or most) 
controversial aspects of his work since stepping 
down as prime minister will cease. 

Broadly, Blair works now in four areas: pro- 
moting and helping to implement good govern- 
ance in Africa and the developing world; building 
a framework to launch a new peace process in the 
Middle East; coming up with ideas to combat 
the ideology of fundamentalist Islam; making the 
intellectual argument for the centre-ground in 
politics. He also has a foundation promoting sport, 
and another promoting inter-faith relations. 

Blair is extremely busy, that much I was able to 
glean. Each moment of each day that I spent with 
him was accounted for. One meeting is followed 
immediately by the next. He starts early and 
finishes late. He rarely breaks for lunch. In fact, 
he does not seem to eat lunch. The concept of the 
weekend, too, seems somewhat irrelevant to him. 
(He remains a big fan of holidays, though.) 

What, exactly, is he doing? Why is he doing it? 

There may not be simple answers to these 
questions. It sounds, perhaps, ridiculous, but the 
closest I can get to a job description is that Blair 
has set himself up as a sort of freelance diplomat, 
a statesman-without-portfolio. He is an adviser to 
foreign governments, as well as to private compa- 
nies. He is a political strategist and policy analyst. 
He wants to rethink the way the West tackles 
extremism in all its forms; he wants to rethink 
the way the West gives aid to developing coun- 
tries; he wants to make the case for a new kind of 
radical, pragmatic, centrist geopolitics: a Fourth 

Way, perhaps. If we were going to speak in woolly 
generalisations — and clearly we are, or I am — he 
wants to bring people together rather than pull 
them apart, build bridges rather than put up walls, 
to champion that increasingly unfashionable idea: 

Is he kidding himself? Is anyone listening to 
him? Isn’t it a bit late for all this? 

Blair is, of course, a polarising figure, here and 
abroad — but especially here. In fact, in Britain 
polarising doesn’t cover it. His brand is toxic. 
The story of his life, his achievements — whether 
you think what he achieved is a triumph or a dis- 
aster, it would be difficult to argue that he hasn’t 
achieved anything — are all overshadowed by the 
run up to the invasion of Iraq, the invasion itself, 
in 2003, and its horrific aftermath. 

Blair left office under a cloud and in the nine 
years since, the skies have not cleared. If anything, 
they’ve darkened. The cartoon of him drawn by 
the media is of a man who is avaricious — why is 
he so rich? — as well as hypocritical — why does he 
associate with tyrants and tycoons? — and deluded 
— why can he not accept that the invasion of Iraq 
was, at best, a terrible mistake? Then there are 
those who really don’t like him, who say he is a liar, 
even a war criminal. 

Blair says that since there is not much he can 
do about his reputation, especially at home, he has 
learned to be philosophical about it. He told me he 
accepts that few in Britain are listening to him. 
That is why he tries to affect politics overseas. But 
I sense — though he says it’s not so — that he is also 
engaged in a reputation-rebuilding exercise. Cer- 
tainly the closure of Tony Blair Associates could 
be seen as part of that exercise. Perhaps he views 
this piece as part of it, too. Perhaps it is. 

In May, after Blair was interviewed by the 
BBC’s Andrew Marr, The Times ran a piece under 
the sneering headline, “Blair: I’m not too rich and 
do lots of very good work”. The implication of the 
headline was clear: he is too rich and he doesn’t 
do lots of very good work. I hoped, with this 
article, to avoid falling into both those traps: the 
perceived whitewashing of the Marr interview 
and the sarcasm and cynicism of The Times piece. 

(The Times, of course, is owned by Rupert 
Murdoch, a former friend of Blair’s. I mentioned 
to Blair that that newspaper, in particular, has it 
in for him. Not that the Daily Mail, and the Guard- 
ian, and, in fact, all the other British newspapers 
don’t. Just that The Times attack on him is par- 
ticularly aggressive and sustained. He rolled his 

eyes, raised his eyebrows, and gave a bewildered 
shrug, which is what he sometimes did when 
I mentioned something that he didn’t want to 
comment on. It’s an effective strategy; you can’t 
quote a bewildered shrug.) 

It’s not true to say Blair is universally disliked, 
here or anywhere else. Not everyone I spoke to, 
socially and professionally, during the months 
I was working on this piece, on and off, was 
violently anti-Blair. But most were. Some made 
disobliging remarks about his private life. Plenty 
of people expressed strong reservations about 
the wisdom of my putting him on the cover of this 
magazine, some simply because he is unpopular, 
so the magazine wouldn’t sell, others because he 
didn’t “deserve” to be on the cover, as if I were 
giving him an award of some kind. (I’m not. I’m 
merely suggesting that, for good or ill, he is one 
of the 25 most influential British men of the past 
quarter century, which is a different thing entirely.) 

Others suggested I was either a Blairite 
apologist, or I would come across as one. They 
thought I would be spun. There certainly were 
moments when I felt I was being politely guided 
towards a toothless portrayal — that visit to a solar 
power plant in the Rwandan interior: impressive, 
sure, fascinating even, but perhaps not entirely 
germane to this story — but then you’d hardly 
expect his team to direct me towards murkier 
goings-on, if there were any. I’m not sure anyone 
can approach the topic of Tony Blair without prej- 
udice, but I tried to keep an open mind. 

I first went to Grosvenor Square to meet Blair 
in April of this year. We’d already agreed with his 
people by then that he would give an interview to 
Esquire for this, our 25th anniversary issue. While 
Blair poured coffee, I told him that my intention 
was to write a piece about his life now. I said I 
wasn’t interested in point-scoring or party politics 
— “Lucky you!” he said — but that I wouldn’t be 
doingmy job if I didn’t ask him to talk about topics 
he’d probably rather not talk about, in particular 
the Iraq War and its repercussions. He said that in 
that case, the main interview would have to wait 
until after the publication of the Chilcot Report, 
still some months off at that stage, but until then I 
was welcome to watch him at work. 

Blair is 63. In the years since 2007, his hair 
has greyed and thinned. He looks older, because 
he is. But his eyes are still bright blue, his skin is 
still tanned, he is still as slim as a student. He was 
dressed, at that first meeting, as he was dressed at 
almost every other meeting to come, in the style of 


2 5 


2 5 

[ 156 ] 

a senior business executive: sober navy suit over 
crisp white shirt, the top two buttons undone to 
reveal glimpses of a thin gold chain around his 
neck. If you didn’t recognise him immediately, 
you might peg him as an investment banker, or the 
CEO of a media conglomerate. (Or an incumbent 
world leader.) I did notice one eccentric touch. On 
more than one occasion he wore black suede RM 
Williams boots — you know the ones, with the 
elastic pull-tags at front and back. Not that there’s 
anything especially rock ’n’ roll about wearing 
suede boots with a business suit, but it’s a modest 
signal: I’m not like all those other stuffed shirts. 

(It’s nice for him, of course, that he’s in good 
nick. But I sense it antagonises his opponents: 
Blair looks healthy and comparatively youthful 
and prosperous and energetic when really he 
should be pale and cowed and aged and, and, and... 
it’s not fair! Plus, he wears groovy boots which is, 
you know, suspect .) 

Blair has an uncommonly mobile and expres- 
sive face. He’s forever grinning — flashing those 
famous snaggleteeth — or frowning or grimacing 
or expressing surprise. And actually, for someone 
often thought to be good at hiding his true feelings 
— the king of spin — his face gives him away. When 
he’s bored or frustrated he looks really bored or 
frustrated. And when he’s faking it, it’s obvious. It 
was always quite plain to me if I’d asked him some- 
thing interesting, or made a perceptive remark (it 
happened rarely enough), or if I’d disappointed him 
with a dullard’s observation, or a sophomoric ques- 
tion, especially one I’d already asked, and was now 
trying in a different way, hoping for an alternative 
response. At those times he looked exasperated. 

All the quotes in the Q&A sections that follow 
are taken from the final interview in London 
while others threaded through the piece are from 
conversations we had at other times. 


15 SEPTEMBER 2016 


You were an incredibly popular prime min- 
ister, at the beginning. Nevertheless, you’re 
going to be remembered as the man who 
invaded Iraq. Does that feel like an injustice 
to you? 

“It doesn’t feel like an injustice. But I think over 
time these things play out differently. On Iraq, 
I think it doesn’t help anyone for me to keep 
relitigating it. People have their own views about 
it. I think in time people will come to a more 
measured view about why it was done, and its 
consequences, but who knows? I don’t spend a lot 
of time reflecting on that. I’m much more concen- 
trated on what I’m doing now.” 

No prime minister leaves office more popular 
than they came in. But the difference in tone is 
particularly marked in your case. Are people 
just wrong about you? 

“It’s not that people are wrong it’s that... As I’ve 
often said, when you decide you divide and if 
you take difficult decisions, you’re going to make 
yourself unpopular. You will become a controver- 
sial figure. But I came to the conclusion that the 
responsibility of leadership is to do what you think 
is right, irrespective of whether it’s popular, and 
that is a difficult thing to do, but in time I think 
people accept that.” 

I was at your press conference on the day of 
the Chilcot Report. As you walked in, the man 
behind me said you looked “shell-shocked”. Is 
that an accurate description of how you felt? 

“No, it’s not. I wasn’t. I was cognisant of the 
importance of the occasion and the importance of 
the debate. The conclusions in the Report weren’t 
particularly a surprise to me because through the 
process called Maxwellisation you get a fair idea of 
what’s goingto be said [in advance]. But I wanted 
to give a complete statement on my position, which 
I did, and to answer any questions that people had. 
When I said, T accept responsibility’, I did, and it’s 
important to do that. But I was very clear where 
I stood on the issue, and where I stand on it.” 

Were you surprised by the contents of the 
Report at all? Was there any of it that you 
didn’t know in advance? 

“No. There were bits of it that I profoundly dis- 
agree with but there’s nothing that particularly 
surprised me.” 

Sitting there, in Admiralty House, watching 
you, it struck me that you were — you are — 
being asked to carry the can for a lot of world 
events that took place at that time, in 2003, 
and in the aftermath of 2003, single-hand- 
edly, as though there was no one else in the 
room and there weren’t any other countries 
involved. Does it feel like that to you? That’s 
how the media present it: “Blair’s War”. 

“Yeah, it is how they present it. But I’m someone 
who doesn’t mind taking responsibility. And 
because I think the issues are so serious and they 
live with us still today, and because I have, frankly, 
a profound disagreement with the way the West is 
handling the whole issue of radical Islamism, I’m 
content to take responsibility because I believe 
that in time people will understand this is not 
a problem that we have caused, it’s a problem 
that we have got caught up in. And that there are 
goingto be no easy solutions... With all the lessons 
of Iraq, we’ve still got a massive problem. And 
of course, the worst problem we have is in Syria, 
where we didn’t intervene at all.” 

Some might say the reason we didn’t intervene 
in Syria is because of what happened in Iraq. It 

turned Britain and the West off intervention, 
full stop. That’s the legacy of Iraq. 


If you’d still been in power we probably would 
have boots on the ground in Syria. Correct? 

“We would certainly have been much more 
heavily engaged. Whether it would have needed 
to be our boots on the ground is another matter. 

But my point very simply is this: if we’d learnt 
the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan properly, 
both in respect of Libya and in respect of Syria, 
what we’d have realised is that the problem is 
not removing the regime, the problem is what 
happens afterwards. Because there are bad actors 
who come in and destabilise the situation, which 
is why I favoured, in respect of Syria and Libya, an 
attempt to negotiate with Assad and indeed with 
Gaddafi to get an agreed transition. However, 
once you have set your face against that, you’ve got 
to go and get them out because otherwise you’re 
going to end up with the situation we’ve now got 
in Syria, which is a catastrophe, and a shameful 
catastrophe in my view.” 

But you can’t have a war without popular 
support for that war. And because of what 
happened in the aftermath of Iraq, there 
isn’t popular support for intervention. It’s 
perceived by the public that us going in and 
meddling in other people’s affairs causes more 
grief to us and to them than not going in. 

“No, absolutely, that’s right.” 

If David Cameron had felt he had popular sup- 
port he probably would have gone into Syria. 

“That is absolutely the analysis, but what people 
have got to bear in mind is that we have now had 
full intervention with boots on the ground, which 
is Iraq, partial intervention in Libya, without boots 
on the ground, and no intervention in Syria. And 
actually in only one of these countries, which is 
Iraq, is there a functioning government that is 
recognised as internationally legitimate, including 
by Saudi Arabia and Iran, and is actually capable 
of fighting terrorism. Now, maybe the Libyan 
government is getting there now but in Syria it’s a 
nightmare. So my point is very simple. I take a far 
longer perspective on this. It’s why I think Western 
policy is in the wrong place. The reason that [West- 
ern intervention, in 1999, in] Kosovo worked and 
in Iraq and Afghanistan it was really difficult was 
because of the intervention of radical Islam, either 
of the Shia variety promoted by Iran, or of the 
Sunni variety promoted by Al Qaeda, Isis and all 
these other groups. It’s a global problem. It’s grown 
up over a generation and it’s goingto require a com- 
pletely different and more comprehensive strategy 
to defeat it. I’ve written about this, but it’s very dif- 
ficult for me to make those arguments and frankly 
a lot of people aren’t listening at the moment. But 
they will in the end because I’m afraid this prob- 
lem’s going to get worse before it gets better.” > 


[ 157 ] 

Blair photographed 
at his office in 
Grosvenor Square, 
London, July 2016 

T he sun came out for the publication of the 
Chilcot Report, on 6 July. At 2pm, inside 
Admiralty House, on Whitehall, in a 
square, high-ceilinged room with garish yellow 
wallpaper, in front of four TV cameras and per- 
haps 40 people — journalists, security heavies, his 
own team — a man, a once powerful and popular 
man, a man who was the future once but now 
seemed like the past, the past many would like to 
forget, was about to try to defend his name against 
apparently insuperable odds. 

Tony Blair entered stage right and placed his 
notes on a grey lectern. He looked nervous. Ashen, 
even. The atmosphere was not, as you might 
imagine, febrile or electric or any of that. It was 
quite sombre and hushed. Blair’s voice seemed 
hoarse at first, as he began his statement, but 
he didn’t reach for a glass of water. He spoke for 
almost 40 minutes. At times he struggled to keep 
his composure. 

He described the decision to go to war in Iraq 
as “the hardest, most momentous and agonising 
decision” he’d taken as prime minister. He said 
that he accepts “responsibility in full — without 
exception or excuse”. 

He admitted that the intelligence statements 
made at the time of going to war “turned out to 
be wrong”. He accepted that the aftermath of the 
invasion was “more hostile, protracted and bloody 
than we ever imagined”. And that instead of free 
and secure, Iraqis became instead “victim[s] of 
sectarian terrorism”. 

“For all of this,” he said, he felt “more sorrow, 
regret and apology and in greater measure than 
you can ever know”. His voice cracked on the word 
“sorrow”. Afterwards, some reports claimed that 
his eyes filled with tears. I was in the third row, 
close enough to him to have seen if that were the 
case, and it didn’t look like it to me. He certainly 
seemed stricken, though. 

There were two things, he said, that he could 
not say. The first was that the removal of Saddam 
Hussein was the cause of the terrorism in the 
Middle East today. The world, he said, was “a 
better place without Saddam”. The second was 
that those British soldiers who died, or who were 
injured, did so “in vain”. They did not, he said. 

He said that the Report cleared him of lying, 
or deliberately misrepresenting the facts, and 
he went on to give an account of his reasons for 
committing Britain to war. He rejected Chilcot’s 
findings that military action had not been “a last 
resort”. He said there was “no rush to war”. He 
said he had had to make a stark decision — yes to 
war or no to war — and that he stood by it. 

He asked us — the people in the room and 

everyone else — to put ourselves in his shoes 
at the time. He asked, “with humility”, that we 
accept he acted “in good faith”. He went on to 
address the failures in planning for the aftermath 
of the war, the British alliance with America, the 
intelligence about Saddam’s chemical weapons, 
the credibility or otherwise of the legal case for the 
war, and to draw conclusions about what future 
leaders should learn from Iraq and Afghanistan. 
His message was one of hope for the Middle East. 

I don’t think it’s incorrect to say that this is not 
what most people wanted to hear. They wanted to 
hear him say that he had done the wrong thing by 
leading Britain into the invasion of Iraq. That even 
if he had believed it was the right thing to do at 
the time, for the right reasons, he now accepted 
that he shouldn’t have done it. There was never 
the remote possibility that he would do this, in my 
view, because he really does believe that invading 
Iraq was the right thing to do, and that he did it for 
the right reasons. 

When Blair had finished he said he would take 
questions. For almost an hour and a half he did so, 
becoming much more animated, raising his voice. 
He asked that people “respect my point of view”. 
He kept hoping that people would “read the report 
for themselves” rather than rushing to judgement 
— a vain hope, given the report is 2.6m words long. 

“It overshadows everything people think 
about me,” he said, at one point, of the Iraq War. 
“Please stop saying I was lying,” he asked, at 
another. He ended with a quiet, “OK, I think that’s 
enough. Thank you.” Exit pursued by policemen. 

“Poor Tony,” said one man, along from me. 
I don’t think he meant it entirely unkindly. 

Outside in the streets of Westminster, people 
were demonstrating against him. On TV, the 
sister of one of the 179 British service personnel 
who died in Iraq accused Blair of being a “ter- 
rorist”. The grandmother of another called him 
a “bloody murderer”, and the father of a third 
said his son had died in vain. The headlines 
were uniformly condemnatory. “A Monster of 
Delusion”, said the front page of the Daily Mail. 
“Blair’s Private War”, thundered The Times. 
“Weapon of Mass Deception”, ran The Sun’ s 
headline. In the Guardian, Jonathan Freedland’s 
column was titled “Blair Damned for the Ages.” 
And the ordure kept being shovelled on for weeks 
afterwards. George Galloway’s documentary, The 
Killings of Tony Blair, was released shortly after 
the Report. Tom Bower’s biography, Broken Vows, 
shot up the paperback bestseller lists. In an essay 
of more controlled fury in the London Review of 
Books, Philippe Sands, the human rights lawyer, 
wrote that the war on Iraq and the controversies 
surrounding it “may come to be seen as marking 
the moment when the UK fell off its global perch, 
trust in government collapsed and the country 
turned inward and began to disintegrate.” Which 
is quite a legacy for a British prime minister. 

The title for Sands’ essay: “A Grand and Dis- 
astrous Deceit.” 



15 SEPTEMBER 2016 


I’m going to read you a paragraph from 
The New York Times , from 7 July, the day after 
Chilcot. I chose it because I imagine that The 
New York Times is slightly more dispassionate 
about you than some of the British papers. 

“Yeah, but they’re very hostile to any intervention.” 

This is the news report: “Prime Minister 
Tony Blair of Britain went to war alongside 
the United States in Iraq in 2003 on the basis 
of flawed intelligence that went unchal- 
lenged, a shaky legal rationale, inadequate 
preparation and exaggerated statements, an 
independent inquiry into the war concluded.” 
That’s their factual report of the findings 
of the Chilcot Report. It is a devastating sum- 
mary. Do you disagree with it? 

“I disagree with all the summaries like that. 
First of all there are elements that go on the 
other side of the ledger in respect of all of these 
things. For example, people talk about flawed 
intelligence without talking about the final 
reports, which actually go into detail about what 
the intentions of the [Iraqi] regime were and 
what the future would have held if we hadn’t 
removed it. 

“And in the end, you’ve still got two very 
fundamental questions that you have to answer. 
One: What would have happened if we hadn’t 
[invaded]? Would the world be more safe today, 
or not? Secondly, for me as the British prime 
minister, there was a big question: were you 
going to side at that point with the Americans, 
or with those led by Russia who were opposed to 
the intervention? 

“Now, if people are going to take a different 
point of view, just as I’ve got to face up to the con- 
sequences of my actions, they have to face up to 
whatever the consequences would have been if 
a different decision had been taken. In the end, 
everything that could be said has been said on 
both sides of this argument and if people want to 
know in depth my response, they should go and 
read my statement on the day and they will see 
where I accept responsibility, where I accept that 
there were real failures and apologise for them, 
but also where I put the rationale for doing what 
we did and why I believe that we are actually safer 
today without Saddam than with him. 

“But people can disagree with this, and, as I 
said to you right at the very beginning, and I fear 
I’ve already disobeyed my own instruction, you 
can relitigate this the whole time, but most people 
have already made up their minds on this issue, 
and I accept that the opinion of people is as it > 

[ 159 ] 

is. There’s no point in me carrying on trying to 
change people’s minds.” 

“I will be with you, whatever.” That’s what the 
news led on, the words that you put in a memo 
to George W Bush in 2002. Do you regret say- 
ing those words now? 

“No, because it’s perfectly obvious from the rest of 
the [memo] that this was not unqualified. By the 
way, at the time we were trying to persuade 
the Americans to go to the United Nations and 
indeed they did go to the United Nations as a result 
of our persuasion. And secondly, you will find if 
you read the whole of the note that it’s listing all 
of the difficulties. So what I was saying is, ‘We’re 
going to be with you in dealing with this, but 
here’s how we’re going to have to deal with it.’ 
I think the very next word [after ‘with you, what- 
ever...’] was ‘but’.” 

I ask about it partly because it has been, contin- 
ues to be, and will always be used against you. 

“I promise you, if it wasn’t that it would be some- 
thing else. This was the hardest decision I ever 
had to take, and I have never disrespected people 
who take a different point of view. The only thing 
that I ever protest about is when people say, ‘You 
did it for motives that you have not disclosed.’ Or, 
‘You did it for nefarious reasons.’ I didn’t. I did 
it because I thought it was right. Whether I was 
right in thinking it, that’s a matter of opinion.” 

You have spoken of a moral component to the 
decision. Removing Saddam Hussein, what- 
ever the political reasons or the security rea- 
sons, there’s a moral dimension to it. People 
find that difficult because that wasn’t a stated 
reason for doing it. You didn’t say, at the time, 
“Morally we ought to get rid of him.” You said, 
“He has weapons of mass destruction and stra- 
tegically we ought to get rid of him and, also, 
he’s a very bad man.” Which is different. 
“Yeah. But the whole point about a regime that is 
aggressive, and if the nature of the regime is also 
bad, then that aggression is much more of a threat. 
Why is North Korea with the nuclear weapon 
frightening? It’s frighteningbecause of the nature 
of the regime. So, actually, if you go back and look 
at the speeches I made before March 2003, they 
were all always about the nature of the regime as 
well, and the fact that — people forget this — when 
Saddam used chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq 
War where, after all, there were a million casual- 

ties in that war, that was an event that wasn’t just 
an act of aggression regionally. Out of that came 
the Iranian nuclear programme. It also had a bad 
impact on the world. So, this is why it’s always 
a slightly artificial distinction.” 

But if we followed this line, then we ought to 
get rid of the regime in Iran, now. 

“Well, I mean, I always say this to people: you can’t 
get rid of every bad regime, and neither should 
you. But in my view the fewer of these regimes 
there are, the better for the world.” 

David Davis and Alex Salmond want the 
Commons to pass a motion accusing you of 
contempt of Parliament. What do you have to 
say to them? 


Nothing at all? 


John Prescott believes the invasion of Iraq 
was wrong. What do you say to him? 

[Blair sighs.] 

He was your deputy prime minister! 

“I know, but John, I’m afraid, buys the whole line 
that has now gripped, I’m afraid, a large part of the 
left, which is to say all these problems of extremism 
come from Western foreign policy. It’s a fundamen- 
tal mistake. And it ignores the history of how this 
radicalism has grown up and it confuses Western 
policy because at a certain point you start to play 
into their whole propaganda exercise against the 
West. Essentially you boost [the Islamists’] line, 
which is, ‘We’re having to do this because you guys 
are makingus.’ What? We’re makingyou drive cars 
down streets trying to kill as many people as you 
can? I mean, why? OK, you completely disagree 
with what we did in Afghanistan and Iraq, but how 
does removing a brutal dictatorship that the people 
of that country most certainly do not support, giv- 
ingthem a United Nations-led process of election, 
and unlimited amounts of development aid, how is 
that oppressing them?” 

It’s not that it is oppressing them, it’s the 
fact that subsequently their lives were 
made hideous. 

“But therefore what we should do is identify the 
people doing the killing and work out how to 
defeat them and not say, ‘No, I’m afraid you’ve 

just got to live under these brutal dictatorships 
because that’s just the way of the world.’” 

How much help has your own faith been to 
you during these periods when you personally 
have been attacked? 

“If you ask someone of faith then it’s always a great 
support because it’s what you believe. But it’s less 
to do with that than to do with the fact that I know 
in my own mind that I have done what I thought 
was right, and therefore I don’t... That is to say, I’m 
not saying I was right, either on Iraq or anything 
else, but...” 

But you do think you were right. 

“I don’t think it in some sort of Messianic way: 
‘I’m always right.’ This sort of ridiculous parody 
of my thinking that’s often put forward. No, I went 
through a very cold, hard process of reasoning 
to take the decision. And I look back now and 
because I’m the person who took the decision, I’m 
also someone who reflects upon it an enormous 
amount. The reason I’m out in the Middle East 
doing all the things I am doing there is in part 
because of all the controversy I was involved 
in, in the region and around the whole issue of 
radical Islam.” 

If I had done something I believed was the 
right thing to do — in every sense, morally, 
strategically, whatever — and I received the 
amount of opprobrium that you have and 
continue to, I would be angry. Really, I would 
be angry. Not just a bit miffed. I would feel 
a tremendous sense of unfairness. 

“Yeah, but there’s no point... I mean, I have found 
throughout my life that anger is always an energy 
that diminishes you. It never resolves anything. 
Look, you’ve also got to think: it’s a great privi- 
lege to have led a country as great as Britain for 
10 years. In many, many ways, I live a very pur- 
poseful and fulfilling life. I’ve got a lovely family. 
I count my blessings. I meet a lot of people in the 
work I do around the world who are so much 
worse off, and in so much greater difficulty than 
me. And I don’t mean to sound sort of pious about 
it, but, ultimately, especially when you’re doing 
these jobs under pressure, you do go through the 
furnace of it and you come out different.” 


“Tougher and also more balanced, with a greater 
equilibrium in your temperament. You realise that 


2 5 

A T 

2 5 

[ 160 ] 

sometimes there’s an anger that can give you pur- 
pose, and there’s an anger that can just eat you up. 
And that anger that gives you purpose is when 
we were in Africa last week and you still see all 
that poverty and you think, ‘We should be doing 
something about that.’ That’s a positive energy. 
The anger that says, ‘People are treating me really 
unfairly’? I mean, look, the Chilcot Inquiry, by 
the way, not that you’d know it, found that we had 
acted in good faith throughout, as did the previous 
five inquiries.” 

“In good faith” is a phrase that you use a lot. 
The thing is, people think, “Well, I under- 
stand acting in good faith. But if it was the 
wrong thing to do it’s still the wrong thing 
to do.” 

“And that’s fair enough. But a lot of the oppro- 
brium is around integrity, which isn’t fair.” 

People think you acted in bad faith. 

“As I say, it’s a difficult situation with me with the 
British media and it will continue, probably, to be. 
Because I think there are other political reasons 
why my type of politics at the moment is not where 
the mood is.” 

Why would that make the press particularly 
poisonous in your case? 

“Because they don’t like the centre.” 

Because it helps the press to have a polarised 

“Yes. Look, I believe there are very powerful 
people on the right in the media and elsewhere 
who want to turn British politics essentially to 
the Eighties.” 

Because it helps to sell newspapers? 

“But also because it helps to drive a right-wing 
agenda. What you had in the Eighties was a 
Labour Party that thought it was principled but 
in fact was unelectable, and a Conservative Party 
that could pursue its position strongly because 
there wasn’t really the prospect of being knocked 
out by the opposition.” 

Are you going to say who these right-wing peo- 
ple are who are driving that agenda? 

“Not for the moment.” 

Why would you not want to say that? 

“There are some battles I want to fight and some 
I don’t, at the moment.” 

You mentioned your family. All this must 
take a toll on them. They didn’t choose to be at 
the centre of these controversies. It would be 
easier for them if you were perceived as a more 
benign figure. 

“Yes, that’s true. On the other hand, by some sort 
of good fortune, the children seem incredibly bal- 
anced with it all. We’re just very lucky.” 

It must have been difficult to give them a nor- 
mal upbringing? 

“Yeah. Obviously it’s an unusual life on one level, 
but I think I was the first British prime minister 
to send my children to state schools and we were 
lucky to find good state schools in London, and 
I think going there helped because they mixed 
with a broad range of children and they seem, 
touch wood, to be fine.” 

R wanda: a small, lush, landlocked coun- 
try in east Africa, traumatised by the 
savagery of its recent past and ruled by 
a ruthless moderniser, a former rebel leader who 
has fast-tracked his nation from what was, 20 
years ago, close to a failed state to one of Africa’s 
economic success stories. 

Kigali: a sun-blessed, orderly, clean capital city 
— almost pathologically clean, as if the city itself 
has OCD — of ridges and valleys, most thrillingly 
navigated as a helmeted passenger on one of the 
motorbike taxis that wriggle through the traffic, 
buzzing like mosquitoes. 

It’s May, and Tony Blair is in town for the 
World Economic Forum on Africa in his role as 
founder and patron of the Africa Governance Ini- 
tiative. Funded by rich donors (at various times: 
Bill Gates, Lord Sainsbury), this is a development 
charity with a difference: rather than offering 
aid, in the traditional sense, its operatives are 
embedded inside the government — the presi- 
dent’s office, various ministries of state — to help 
implement policy. They are, one of them tells me 
over a drink, “all about getting shit done”. 

Blair is a big man in Rwanda. He is, according 
to a student I chat to in a sports arena in Kigali, 
while we wait for Blair to arrive and bowl a cricket 
ball for charity, “one of the best friends of our 
president”. (“One thing about being a known face 
is, you might as well use it,” Blair says, when I ask 
why he still bothers with the comedy photo calls.) 

The President is Paul Kagame. He came to 
power in 2000, six years after the genocide that 
killed 900,000 people in 100 days, and he is one 
of Blair’s longest standing developing world part- 
ners. A sinuous, studious-looking man, Kagame 
has made a great success of Rwanda’s economy, 
but his administration and armed forces are 
accused of human rights abuses at home, as well as 
of brutal military incursions into the neighbour- 
ingDemocratic Republic of Congo. 

Blair likes it here. He likes the energy. “This 
is an amazing country,” he tells me. “It’s a place 
on the move.” I join him and his team for break- 
fast at the brand new Marriott Hotel, where he 
is staying. We are close to the convention centre, 
inside a temporary “red zone”. To get to him one 

must pass through road blocks and multiple secu- 
rity checks. Many of the continent’s leaders have 
gathered here, along with Western diplomats and 
investors in Africa from around the world. 

During his time here, Blair has meetings on 
such topics as import substitution, energy policy, 
cement production. (It’s only rock ’n’ roll but he 
likes it.) On all of these matters, members of the 
AGI team are working with the Rwandans to help 
them, to use the deathless management speak, 
“deliver on their targets”. 

“What is the essential thing to recognise about 
the world?” Blair asks me, as we sit in the shade 
on a terrace at the back of the hotel. “It’s that the 
countries that govern themselves sensibly, as 
opposed to those that have pursued daft ideolo- 
gies or become corrupted, do better. If they govern 
well, there’s no limit to what they can do. But the 
hardest thing is to get things done. How do you 
actually have a plan, prioritise and deliver it?” 

As ever, Blair is not thinking small: “I want to 
change the way we do development.” When he says 
“we” he means “the world”. “I want to influence 
global policy on this. That’s one thing you can do 
when you leave office: you can influence.” 

I watch him tour a high-tech lab where stu- 
dents are learning about 3D printing. (“Smart 
guys!” Blair says to me.) I am introduced to a min- 
ister in the Rwandan government, who tells me 
how important Blair is, and says he knows nothing 
of his reputation back home. 

I’m not surprised Blair wanted me to see all 
this: his AGI team is made up of smart, committed, 
inspiring young people, from all over the world, 
who have come here to try to do good. One night, 
while the boss is in meetings, I am invited to 
a team dinner at a Chinese restaurant. One of the 
AGI staffers asks me my sense of the public opin- 
ion of Blair in Britain. After a pause to consider 
how much I want to put a dampener on a very 
convivial supper, I decide to be honest: “Erm... 
they don’t like him.” There is much laughter. 

“Well, we know that,” says someone. 

I’d misheard the question. What they were 
curious to know was how much people knew of 
his work now, and what they thought of it, not if 
he was personally popular. They had no illusions 
on that score. 

I told them that I felt most people had no idea, 
really, of what he was up to, me included. What 
little we think we know — he makes lots of money 
advising dodgy foreign administrations — we are 
suspicious of. 

The work of the AGI, too, is not without its 
PR challenges: Paul Kagame’s record on human 
rights, for example. I asked Blair how he decided 
that, despite the allegations, the Rwandan Presi- 
dent is a man worth working with? 

“If the country hadn’t changed for the bet- 
ter in the last eight or nine years — and even his 
worst critics admit that it has — then I wouldn’t 
be here,” Blair said. “If I didn’t believe he was 
ultimately someone with the good of his country > 


[ 161 ] 

2 5 


2 5 

[ 162 ] 

in his heart, I wouldn’t be here. If I thought the 
people of the country didn’t want him to stay in 
office, I wouldn’t be here. If I thought he was a bad 
guy, I wouldn’t be here. 

“I’m totally in favour of the people who focus 
on human rights in countries like this,” he said. 
“My purpose here is to try and help, and I’m not 
able to do that if I don’t think the leadership of the 
country is well intentioned. That’s not to say I’m 
oblivious to these issues. I will always raise those 
issues with the leadership, here and elsewhere.” 

Had he raised the issue of human rights with 
Kagame? “Of course I have,” he said, “and he, by 
the way, will answer them very strongly, and say 
who is behind [the allegations]. To be honest, it is 
difficult for me to judge.” He made the comparison 
with China. “There are completely legitimate crit- 
icisms of that system,” he said, “but it is in every- 
one’s interest that there is a stable evolution there.” 

Another accusation thrown at Blair is that his 
commercial work has at times become entangled 
with his philanthropic or not-for-profit work. One 
of Tony Blair Associates’ offers was, as he puts it, 
“linking investors with opportunities”. He knows, 
because of his travels and his contacts, which pro- 
jects in the developing world need funding, and he 
knows private investors who might want to invest. 

“We don’t do that in Africa, not in countries 
where we are working [on a not-for-profit basis].” 
If a delegate at the World Economic Forum were 
to approach him now, in the hotel lobby, and say 
he wished to invest in development projects in 
Rwanda, would he connect them to a potentially 
profitable — and worthy — operation? 

“You can’t do it when you are embedded in the 
president’s office,” he said. “That would lead you 
into a conflict.” 

I asked him about the numerous allegations, 
over the years, that have been made about the 
blurring of distinctions between his philanthropic 
and his commercial work. “I cannot tell you how 
much bullshit there is,” he said. “We can literally 
take it allegation by allegation. It’s extremely 
important. The fact is, my sources of income were 
from the consultancies that have nothing to do 
with [his work in Rwanda, for example].” 

Throughout these conversations, Blair was 
companionable and relaxed. As well as answering 
them, he asked questions — How’s the magazine 
going? What have I made of my time with him 
so far? What else am I working on? Have I had 
a chance to get out and see the country? — and he 
encouraged people to talk to me. (Unsurprisingly, 
he didn’t introduce me to anyone who said terrible 
things about him, but then those are not difficult 
to find; that part I could do without him.) 

At the Marriott, our talk turned to more per- 
sonal matters. Cherie had accompanied him to 
Kigali. I wondered if they had found time to enjoy 
themselves while they were here. Could they go 
out for dinner, or just have a look around the city? 

Continued on page 192 


[ 163 ] 

[ 164 ] 

Chris Winter / Solo Syndication 

ergus Henderson is an unlikely 

F gastronomic god. The proprietor of 

the legendary St John restaurant in 
London, and patron saint of umbles 
(“It would be disingenuous to the animal,” he writes 
in Nose to Tail Eating, “not to make the most of the 
whole beast”), he is modest, softly spoken and 
splendidly eccentric, the pinstriped paragon of the 
truly civilised chef. 

Not that he actually cooks in his restaurants 
any more. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1998, 
the tremor down the left side of his body made it 
impossible for him to man the stoves. “Parkinson’s, 
small kitchens, knives — a bit dangerous,” he once 
said with typical understatement. But following 
revolutionary deep brain stimulation, the tremors 
were tamed and are now all but imperceptible. 

He trained as an architect, and though he has no 
formal culinary background, he worked at Smith’s 
in Covent Garden and The Globe in Notting Hill 
before opening The French House Dining Room in 
Soho in 1992. St John in Smithfield followed in 1994. 
We sit down there, by the bar, the conversation oiled 
by a glass of Fernet Branca (“It has magical proper- 
ties! You can follow it through your system. It hits 
the liver and soothes it... then the stomach, then 
the kidneys. As it makes its journey, it improves the 
humours. A miracle!”) and a fat slice of seed cake. 

ES QU IRE: What were you doing 25 years ago? 
FERGUS HENDERSON: I was cooking at The 
French House, with my wife Margot. A happy 
time! Unlike other chefs, when we had a row in 
the kitchen we could kiss and make up, which 
was very handy. When I left to set up St John, 
Margot carried on. Now she has Rochelle 
Canteen, so we both have our own restaurants. 

ESQ: How did St John come about? 

FH: The space was available, it was waved 
under my nose and proved irresistible! It 
suited my thoughts of how a restaurant should 
be. It is hard to know whether I would have set 
up St John if we had not found this space... 

ESQ: The St John diaspora is wide and 
wonderful. What do you think they learned 
while cooking with you? 

FH: The confidence to follow their noses, 
to trust their instincts — it’s realising that 
simple is not easy. 

ESQ: The prose of the menu matches the 
minimalist elegance of the walls and can now 
be found in restaurants everywhere. Was that 
the intention? 

FH: Sort of! The idea of the hooks on the walls 
is that as you hang your coats, you decorate the 
walls. And we don’t allow music, as the glug 
of wine and the chatter is the music. When 
we serve the roast bone marrow and parsley 
salad, we present the elements, which you 
can construct as you please. It’s self-assembly 

and evolution. In a similar way, the simplicity 
of the wording on the menu launches you 
into a conversation with the waiter... they are 
all springboards. 

ESQ: St John is always described as “modern 
British”. Yet there’s a clear Italian influence, 
too. The opposite of “meat and three veg”. 

FH: Certainly! But firstly — it is not modern 
British, it is permanent British! It is not an 
olde-worlde, rose-tinted view of the past, nor is 
it plucking senselessly from around the world. 

I was brought up on Marcella Hazan and that 
Italian way of cooking used to be how everyone 
cooked — cook what is near to you and in 
season. Nature writes your menu. 

ESQ: You’re known as the godfather of new 
British cooking. Is that a description that fills 
you with glee? Or gloom. 

FH: I don’t think about it. But if it helps to 
spread the word, then I’m happy. Don Fergus! 

ESQ: Is British food in fine fettle? 

FH: Here’s my cabbage theory. There’s 
a smugness to London, we think we are the 
culinary centre of the world. But if you go out 
for the evening with trendy young Italians, 
they will spend the entire night talking about 
radicchio. Now, when broody young Londoners 
can spend a whole night talking about cabbage, 
then we will have really cracked it. 

ESQ: Lunch or dinner? 

FH: Lunch, of course! The body is in perfect 
condition for lunch. One has an aperitif, it 
starts a chain reaction and everything collides 
in the perfect moment. It spells potential — 
anything can happen after lunch! Whereas at 
dinner you are tired, and it forms a full stop to 
the day. 

ESQ: Does the use of mobile phones irk you? 
FH: Yes! It is suggesting that [people] are being 
inconvenienced by lunch, which is entirely the 
wrong attitude, not the way to approach lunch 
at all. People only like the smell of their own 
farts, apparently. In the same way, people seem 
to like the sound of their own ringtones. 

ESQ: Strange shaped plates? Slate? Bread 
served in flat caps? 

FH: Don’t do it! A round white plate is 
a perfect thing to eat off, whereas a square 
plate with an “arrangement” at its centre 
is so uncomfortable, as is slate. Sometimes 
these things are born out of a restaurant’s 
desperation — they distract from the food, 
which I feel is often the intention. 

ESQ: Favourite restaurants? 

FH: In London, Sweetings. Their plaice, chips 
and peas with a bottle of chablis is a perfect 

Fergus Henderson photographed at 
his St John restaurant by Dan Burn- 
Ford, London, 2014 

lunch. La Bombeta, or Bar La Bomba, in 
Barcelona. Everything’s cooked with lard and 
garlic, which is brilliant, because lard and 
garlic are wonderful. Trattoria Sostanza in 
Florence, a temple to grilling meat. Of all the 
cuts, the beef steak Florentine is my favourite, 
a joyous thing from a white cow farmed in a 
valley somewhere in Chianti. Usually you have 
this very rare and will be chewing for hours, 
but it is just the right amount of chew. It’s 
a perfect piece of meat. In Paris, Chez Georges. 

ESQ: Five ingredients you love? 

FH: Parsley, garlic, lemon juice, bread, bacon. 

ESQj Any views on the perfect martini? 

FH: I’m quite particular about my martinis! 
Always Tanqueray (but not NolO). Painfully 
dry, painfully cold, and straight up. But do not 
make the mistake of having more than one 
before lunch — two means that you become 
too relaxed and slip too easily into the third 
— disaster! But it’s tricky to resist, because 
martinis are like breasts. One is not enough, 
three are too many, two are perfect. Q 

The dish that’s 
been on the 
St John menu 
for 22 years 

Tom Parker Bowles on Bone 
Marrow and Parsley Salad 

“Crisp, slightly charred toast, slathered with 
wobbling, discreetly beefy marrow, spiked with 
shards of salt. The taste buds swoon. But just 
when it all gets too overwhelmingly luscious, 
in rides that parsley salad, studded with capers 
and slivers of shallots, to cut through any 
excess heft. It’s one of the world’s great dishes, 
a masterpiece of taste and texture that thrills 
and soothes with equal aplomb.” 


[ 165 ] 



Like the Mobot, today’s 
footballers prefer 
a sappier sign-off 

Vf! 1993 

The beers by 
Paul Merson 


Cocaine by 
Robbie Fowler 


flute by Paul 


Robot by 
Peter Crouch 


Chicken by 
Kevin Nolan 

Heart by 
Gareth Bale 


2 5 


efore I interviewed the writer Mal- 
colm Gladwell for this magazine in 
2013, I’d never thought especially 
deeply about Mo Farah. He was 
a good, perhaps great, athlete, an affable but not out- 
landishly charismatic guy with an idiotic signature 
celebration: the Mobot. Thanks to its inventor Clare 
Balding, the 33-year-old Somali-born Briton now 
not only had to outrun the best Kenyans and Ethio- 
pians but choreograph a naff pose as he crossed the 
line, like one member of the Village People stood up 
by the remainder of the sextet. 

But then Gladwell had a counter-intuitive way 
of looking at Farah: he was not so much an athlete 
as a Jedi. Gladwell had met him once briefly and 
Farah had made a strong impression. “I shook his 
hand and chatted to him and it was clear he was the 
alpha male,” Gladwell recalled. “He just has a per- 

sonality that seemed to exert itself on matters. He 
dictates the terms of races to people who are faster 
than him, which I find fascinating and hilarious.” 
Gladwell was right. Throughout his career, 
certainly since 2011, Farah has consistently beaten 
opponents who have superior personal bests. 
It shouldn’t make any sense. Gladwell picked one 
event, the 5,000m final in the 2012 London Olym- 
pics — though it applies to most events Farah takes 
part in — and called it both “an act of collective 
suicide by the African runners” and “the strangest 
race I’ve ever seen”. On paper, Farah should not 
have won, so how did he triumph so convincingly? 

“I don’t know,” said Gladwell, shaking his head. 
“He’s the big dog, they just do what the big dog says.” 
We think of athletics as the ultimate physical 
test, but Farah is proof that it is really a battle of 
competing psychologies. Psychology in sport typ- 

[ 166 ] 


ically means a manager such as Jose Mourinho 
saying silly things to inspire footballers with IQs 
similar to the numbers on the back of their shirts. 
What Far ah does, though, is much more subtle. 

Take his tactic of often starting races very 
slowly. It’s a really bad idea to give your opponents 
a 40m head start in an Olympic final. But it works 
for Farah because: a) it lets his rivals know that he 
is so supremely confident of winning that he can 
afford to just jog along for a bit; and b) Farah knows 
that, like any good horror film, it’s what you can’t 
see that really messes with your mind. 

I got Farah all wrong. He’s a nerveless assassin, 
and his paralysing presence has now earned him 
four Olympic gold medals. He will probably never 
set a world record, but you would put your money 
on him every time in a head-to-head. But I do stand 
by one thing: the Mobot is a terrible celebration. Q 


Martin Clarke 


Mo Farah clocks Ethiopia’s Dejen 
Gebremeskel before winning gold in 
the 5,000m, London, August 2012 

Martin Clarke, Mail Online publisher, heads the world’s most- 
read English language newspaper website, photographed in 2012 

ocky, brash, 

C short-tempered, 
workaholic and 
unashamedly right- 
wing, Martin Clarke was never 
going to be the kind of media figure 
regularly invited on to Newsnight 
to trade purring witticisms with 
Evan Davis. He has, however, been 
Britain’s most influential newspa- 
perman of the past quarter cen- 
tury, an achievement all the more 
remarkable given that he doesn’t 
actually work on a newspaper. 

Clarke, in his early fifties, is 
the man behind Mail Online, the 
world’s most-read English lan- 
guage newspaper website. It was 
launched by the Daily Mail in 2003, 

but has been controlled by Clarke, 
first as editor then as publisher, 
since 2006, and its innovations — 
the sidebar of shame, the green 
and red arrows, the huge pictures 
— were his. 

Its most important single last- 
ing legacy will be its demonstra- 
tion of the power of what media 
analysts call “guilty pleasure 
browsing”. Before Mail Online, 
editors of quality newspapers 
worried about featuring too much 
content that seemed trashy; nowa- 
days, they accept that if you want 
reader numbers, you have to rec- 
ognise that even “quality” readers 
apparently like looking at Kim 
Kardashian’s arse, even if they 



[ 167 ] 

MARTIN CLARKE Continued... 

The stuff we made 

Clarke is Britain’s 
most influential 
o f the p ast q uarter 
century, all the 
more remarkable 
given that he 
doesn’t actually 
work on 
a newspaper 

do feel a bit sullied afterwards. Clarke, a Kent grammar 
school boy known for his black trenchcoat, shouting, 
smoking and signature instruction to reporters: “I want 
every cough and spit,” is unapologetic about chasing big 
numbers ( Mail Online currently has more than 200m 
monthly visitors). 

Some commentators feel there is too big a difference 
between the tone of the newspaper and its website, but 
he insists the site embodies Mail values of sound, brave 
and investigative reporting. Some will regard that claim 
with scepticism, but meeting Clarke, as I did for Esquire 
in 2011, there is no doubt about his sense of leading a 
moral crusade for the ordinary and unheard against the 
establishment. He can seem a bit mad, but you have to 
admire his conviction. 

Of course, the shortcomings are many and well- 
known: besides the typos and dubious stories, there 
have been gaffes like the obviously pre-written and 
mistaken account of the Amanda Knox trial, published 
in error when the verdict was misunderstood. More 
recently, Clarke has had to defend Mail Online against 
accusations of racism in its coverage of immigration and 
explain the surprising content-sharing deal with China’s 
People’s Daily. 

It’s true that in some people — the sort of people 
Clarke detests — such things make him an unsuitable 
candidate for inclusion in a list like this. However, we 
are talking here about the men who have shaped our 
culture, and there seems little denying that as well as 
amassing an awful lot of readers, Martin Clarke’s Mail 
Online has been to the first decades of the 21st century 
what Kelvin MacKenzie’s Sun was to the Eighties, and 
Hugh Cudlipp’s Daily Mirror was to the Fifties and early 
Sixties, in being the news platform that most closely cap- 
tures the mood and tone of the country’s mainstream. Q 

Wind-up clock radio 
(Trevor Baylis) 

‘Jack’ light/chair 
(Tom Dixon) 


Jonathan Ive 


he design critic Ste- 

T phen Bayley once 
asked people to 
name the most val- 
uable Englishman on Earth. Wayne 
Rooney? Colin Firth? Neither of 
them, he argued, could touch Jona- 
than “Jony” Ive, chief design officer 
of Apple Inc. Age: 49; net worth: 
£100m — though, as the designer of 
the MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook 
Air, Mac mini, iPod, iPod Touch, 
iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, Apple 
Watch and Apple’s entire iOS operat- 
ing system (10th iteration out now!), 
his true value to the multinational 

technology company may be more 
accurately described as priceless. 
Apple is, as no one needs reminding, 
the world’s most successful com- 
pany. Not just now, but ever. 

Yes, Apple has had better years 
than this one — the first dip in 
iPhone sales since it launched in 
2007, the sneaking suspicion no 
one’s bought an Apple Watch, the 
tax bill — but when your products are 
owned by 600m people around the 
world you’re still doing OK. Not just 
owned, but loved. Even people who 
dislike the company’s schtick, even 
Windows-centric Applephobes (you 

2 5 


2 5 

[ 168 ] 

The Guardian 

Dolly the sheep The London Eye 

(University of Edinburgh/PPL Therapeutics) (Marks Barfield Architects) 

The Gherkin 
(Norman Foster) 

Beagle 2 
(Colin Pillinger) 

London Olympic torch 
(Barber St Osgerby) 

fools!) have had their lives changed 
by Apple. Touch screens, digital 
music, apps, FaceTime, every photo 
in our pockets, swiping, curved 
edges, The Cloud, the very idea 
we can run our lives 24-7 through 
a 4.7in piece of aluminium and glass 
— Apple might not have done it first 
(though in many cases it did) but it 
did it best. Then everyone copied 
them. So you don’t have to be sleep- 
ing on a fold-down chair outside an 
Apple Store to be an Apple convert. 
We all are. 

Jony Ive oversaw this revolution. 
Jony Ive from Newcastle Polytech- 

nic! Jony Ive from Chingford! And 
no matter how big Apple gets for 
its boots, that feels good, right? You 
might think Steve Jobs was a nut, 
you might not like the look of Tim 
Cook. But the quiet, publicity-shy 
man-boy with the shaved head and 
the navy T-shirt — he’s someone we 
can all feel good about. That there is 
some corner of Apple Campus, One 
Infinite Loop, Cupertino that is for- 
ever England. 

Ive has a gift for dreaming up 
beautiful-looking objects that are 
simple to use. His priority is the 
user not the gadget. As anyone with 

kids will tell you, his products are so 
instinctive that a two-year-old can 
use them (two -year- olds love to use 
them). “Making the solution seem so 
completely inevitable and obvious, 
so uncontrived and natural — it’s 
so hard,” he has said. Much like his 
products, Ive lives his life tastefully 
and unobtrusively. He is the best and 
most imitated product designer in 
the world, but he does not strut about 
like Philippe Starck nor wear ridic- 
ulous clothes like Karim Rashid. He 
lives quietly in San Francisco with 
his wife Heather, whom he met at 
school before he went on to study 

Jonathan Ive photographed by 
Graham Turner, June 2003 

industrial design at Newcastle Poly 
(he was exceptional enough that part 
of his student portfolio was exhib- 
ited at London’s Design Museum), 
and their twin boys. He’s so back- 
wards about coming forwards that 
his friend, the D J John Digweed, had 
known him for ages before realising 
he didn’t just work for Apple’s design 
department, he ran it. 

After working for a design 
consultancy in London, Ive joined 
Apple in 1992. He shared Steve 
Jobs’ vision of creating a digital 
hub that would hold everything we 
cared about in one place. Jobs was 
a hero to some, a villain to others, a 
complicated character, as they say. 
Ive, partly through being so low- 
key, never inspired anything other 
than devotion. His products did 
the talking. But last year, he let The 
New Yorker follow him about in the 
run-up to the launch of the Apple 
Watch. That profile ran to 17,000 
words. It covered a lot of ground. 
But the Ive who emerged was as like 
you and me as we suspected (that is, 
as like you and me as someone who 
changed the world can be). There’s 
a Banksy picture in his office. His 
bookshelf features 100 Superlative 
Rolex Watches. He loves cars (Apple’s 
‘’’Project Titan” is supposedly a car). 
Of course, none of these things 
makes you a world-class designer. 
But they do make you our kind of 
world-class designer. Q 


[ 169 ] 

[ 170 ] 


Grayson Perry photographed 
at home in London by 
Daniel Stier, September 2016 

Grayson Perry 


here’s an illusion about happiness 

T that it is ecstasy. It’s really the regu- 
lar stuff — like having a nice place to 
work, walking the dog, a reasonable 
amount of beer — that makes most people happy. It’s 
not swimming with dolphins or paragliding. 

I’ve got an angle on most things. Dressing up in 
women’s clothes. The Turner Prize. The relation- 
ship of pottery to art. They’re bits of ground that 
I’ve trodden into a quagmire. 

There are two metrics that artists use: price at auc- 
tion and visitor figures. I’m quite interested in both. 

I grew up in Essex. My dad was a skilled electrical 
engineer. My mother was angry. That was her job, 
I think. She slaved her guts out for my stepfather. 
I didn’t have a good relationship with any of them. 
My father left when I was four because my mother 
had an affair with the milkman, who turned into my 
stepfather. He was a violent thug. My mother was 
quite disturbed herself and incredibly volatile. 

People often think that if you’re a transvestite then 
you have some unique insight into women. Bollocks. 
You’ve got a unique insight into being a man who 
likes putting on dresses. 

Artists don’t live on some weird, ethereal other 
planet. It’s nine to five. You’ve got to get stuff done. 

I’m married to a psychotherapist. You learn quite 
a lot being married to a psychotherapist. 

If you don’t like cycling uphill then you don’t like 
cycling. I used to be much more attached to the ups 
than the downs, but recently I’ve started to get more 
excited by the downs. My wife once asked someone 
who I go riding with, “What’s he like when he’s out 
on his mountain bike?” He said, “Well, you wouldn’t 
know he had a family.” 

Most encounters I have, I start aggressive and then 
I warm up. I find that’s the best trajectory because 
you don’t make that mistake of being overfamiliar 
with someone who turns out to be a twat. 

If I really want to have a good laugh I’ll watch 
You’ve Been Framed!. Fucking brilliant. Harry Hill 
just transformed it. 

There have been very brief periods in my adult life 
when I’ve had short hair but this particular cut is 
normally quite a precise bob. 

My man wardrobe is like many men’s wardrobes. 
It’s what my wife buys me plus kit. Motorcycling kit. 
Sports kit. Work kit. You know, functional clothes. 

I want to be one of those old ladies that does not give 
a shit. They’re good. No fear of honesty. 

I reach more people with one television programme 
than I would with 10 exhibitions. I remember once 
I said to the commissioning editor of one of our 
programmes, “Oh yeah, that exhibition went really 
well — 120,000 people went to it.” She said, “I’d get 
the sack if those were my viewing figures.” 

All drugs have a character that they impose on you. 
It’s Mr Cokey Man and Mr Stoney Man! We all 
know what those people are like, don’t we? I hav- 
en’t taken any illegal drugs for decades. I’m Mr 
Occasional Pint-y man. I am known to doodle when 
I’m two or three pints in. It’s quite useful to have 
a disinhibitor, but not to be paralytic. 

I wear Chanel Bleu. I haven’t got a really good sense 
of smell but people always compliment me on it so 
it must be OK. 

I used to love dancing. There was a point 
where I would have gone for Strictly but I think I’m 
too old now. My body’s a bit crook. 

Do I believe in God? No. Life is meaningless. I’m 
happy with that, though. Most creative people’s job 
is to make meaning. That’s the role, isn’t it? To give 
people something to attach to somehow, to give a bit 
of traction in the abstract soup of being around. 

If you’re unhappy and you’ve got things that aren’t 
working for you then talk to someone who might 
help you. Most people get therapy when they’re 
in their thirties; that’s when things come home to 
roost. I started it when I was 38, so quite late really. 
I was angry. Depressed. I had many bad habits that 
my wife loved pointing out to me, all the classic 
ones: projection, transference, bad communication 
skills. I went for six years. 

Like most middle-class people in Islington we have 
a cleaner. Our house is not a testament to tidiness. 

At school I was quite natural at athletics but my 
stepfather encouraged it so therefore I had to give it 
up as a “Fuck you” to him. 

I find more interest in the British Museum than I do 
in the Tate. 

Everything has its role in the shaping of your life. It 
would probably have been quite handy to have been 
less self-conscious when I was younger. I wasn’t 
particularly shy but you don’t know how good you 
are. I’ve got a better idea now. 

I was pretty serious about joining the Army; I was 
being interviewed for Sandhurst when I was 16. 
I was in the cadets. Riding on tanks and running 
around in the dark pretending to be soldiers, we did 
all that a lot. It was fun. Naively, I didn’t associate 
it with the chaos and horror of war. I’d have been 
a bad fit for the Army. I probably would have gone 
on the rampage. 

After something appears novel it begins that 
journey to cliche quite rapidly. Such as? Anything 
with the word “hipster” in front of it. Tattoos are 
the classic one. They’re cruel because they stick 
around. It’s like having bell bottoms welded to 
your legs. 

I have a daughter. She’s 24 now. I was very wary of 
myself as a parent at the beginning because I had 
such a lot of baggage. It’s easy to be a bad parent. If 
you do it properly — you pay the kid attention and 
give love and time and effort — then it’s hard. 

The gym is awful. I can’t bear swimming in a pool 
either. It’s like, the world’s out there! 

The first question I was asked when I won the 
Turner Prize was, “Are you a serious artist or are 
you a loveable character?” I said, “Both.” If you’re 
going to spend all your working hours doing some- 
thing you’ve got to be serious about it but there is no 
territory that I won’t joke about. 

You’re allowed to be wrong. You’re allowed to be 
flexible. You’re allowed to not know. 

A friend of mine once said, “Perfectionism is 
unloveable.” I think that’s true. Very often we like 
things because they are flawed or not quite right. 

I’m on a constantly improving curve. I’m realising 
in my later life that it’s nice being nice. □ 


[ 171 ] 



Harry Potter 

Jeremy Clarkson 



hen describing your day job as a magazine 
% A # journalist to today’s adolescents, there are 
™ " few anecdotes that raise even a glimmer 
of approbation. Jumping in puddles with 
Justin Timberlake? Wrong Justin. Sunbathing with Kate 
Winslet? Booooring. Watching Ken Loach direct? Does he 
even have a YouTube channel? Going on the set of Harry 
Potter with Daniel Radcliffe? Now we’re talking. 

Of course, such was the security around the filming of 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 that I wasn’t 
allowed to describe what I saw. However, I’m going to risk 
Warner Bros’ retroactive wrath by revealing that the actor 
who played Draco Malfoy was actually a very nice bloke 
and that it was clear some kind of magic was happening. 

Sine e Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone was pub- 
lished in 1997, the character has cast a spell that cannot be 
broken. His creator JK Rowling now has a net worth esti- 
mated at more than $lbn. The main novel and film series 
may have ended, but the spin-off books and movies and the 
plays and the theme parks and the bus tours and the collec- 
tors’ edition wands will probably be churned out forever. 

And so it has come to pass that this scrawny, bespec- 
tacled, boy wizard projects more about the British man to 
the wider world than any debonair secret agent ever has: 
an unprepossessing, milk-fed geek who somehow holds 
his own against superior forces through a mixture of inge- 
nuity, hard graft and high-powered backers, and who nur- 
tures a Messiah complex that isn’t nearly as well-disguised 
as he thinks it is. □ 

Daniel Radcliffe stars as Harry Potter in the 2001 film adaptation 
ofJK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 

eremy Clarkson 

J is grumpy, funny, 
unfashionable, likes 
cars, stirring up 
trouble and once hit Piers Morgan. 
Quite a lot to like there. He can also 
be a bit of a twat. He hit his producer 
while filming Top Gear because 
there wasn’t a hot dinner waiting for 
him back at the hotel, and is friends 
with our very own Uncle Dysfunc- 
tional, AA Gill (always a concern). 

He is also very, very successful. 
Top Gear, when he was at the helm, 
was one of the most successful 
shows in the world, his columns in 
The Sun and The Sunday Times are 
the reason many buy those newspa- 
pers, and whenever he collates his 
middle-aged mutterings into a hard- 
back book it tops the best-seller lists. 
More often than not, Clarkson man- 
ages to be rude without being all-out 
offensive, politically incorrect with- 
out being abusive, and, annoyingly 
for his detractors, often makes a lot 

of sense: he’s good at bursting the 
balloons of pomposity released by 
the wafflers of Westminster. Despite 
being worth millions, and living in 
Chipping Norton, he still manages 
to echo the views of the common 
man with a curmudgeonly charm 
and skill that has always evaded the 
likes of Richard Littlejohn or, more 
recently, Katie Hopkins. 

In fact, the 56-year-old is some- 
thing of a hero: over the summer his 
yacht rescued four men off the coast 
of Mallorca who’d accidentally been 
blown a mile out to sea on their lilos. 

Clarkson’s greatest achievement, 
however, and the reason he is on this 
list, is that here’s a Genesis-loving 
petrolhead, with appalling taste in 
jeans, and a face that could freeze 
Medusa, who’s convinced us all 
that he’s just like us but funny and 
on the telly. The reality is far from 
that: he’s a modern-day, multimedia 
mogul. And if you actually meet him, 
a rather charming one, too. Q 



The fictional 
British males who 
have defined us to 
the outside world 

No, they definitely don’t think 
we’re James Bond 

Alan Partridge 

Self-important blowhard and soft rock enthusiast 

2 5 


2 5 

[ 172 ] 

David Brent 

Mr Bean 


Nigel Farage 

Small man with twin sweat and authority problems Primarily communicates through his nostrils 

Unintelligible clever clogs. Likes frock coats 

The ultimate comic creation. Wait, whaaa...? 


[ 173 ] 

Left: Baron WaheedAlli 
behind the scenes on Channel 
Four’s The Big Breakfast, 
London, March 1999 

Right: Nick Jones photographed by 
Alex Sarginson, London, 2015 


Baron Waheed Alii 

ake the modern world 
T with its angsts, woes 

" and endless, urgent, 

trolley dash of threats 
perceived and tangible; then consider, 
“who might save us?” A superhero for 
civilisation’s terminal stage would need 
a hell of a backstory and considerable 
powers, but that wouldn’t be enough. 
You’d want some special quality, some- 
thing intangible but somehow clear. 
Let’s say you figured all that out and 
then you went into a room of movie 
executives and pitched this character... 

You : “OK, so, he’s a blue-collar kid, his 
parents a nurse and a mechanic, and 
he leaves school to look after his family 
when his dad splits, and, here’s the 
thing, he’s not white.” 

Execs : “Cool, that seems contemporary. 
Where is he from?” 

You : “Well, he’s British. His folks 
are from the Caribbean region. He’s 
Muslim, raised in south London.” 
Execs : “Muslim?” 

You : “Yeah, but here’s another thing, 
he’s Muslim, and he’s gay.” 

Execs : “Your hero is a gay Muslim?” 

You : “Totally. And he comes from no 
money and he goes out to earn for his 
family and he makes like a fortune in 
media and business.” 

Execs : “How?” 

You : “He and his friends...” 

Execs: “Super-friends?” 

You : “Kinda. Well, Bob Geldof. They 
make these epochal, era-defining 

TV shows like The Word and The Big 
Breakfast and they have the rights to 
other world-conquering formats like 
Survivor, and they make a ton of money 
and then our guy enters politics.” 

Execs: “Our gay Muslim guy?” 

You : “Exactly. Our working class, gay, 
Muslim guy enters politics in this 
bullshit neo-liberal era of self-serving 
corruption, and despite his proximity 
to some terrifying figures...” 

Execs : “Supervillains?” 

You: “Blair, Murdoch, Cameron...” 
Execs: “Wow!” 

You: “Bear with me... he actually does 
some honourable stuff and somehow 
stays above all the shit.” 

Execs: “People won’t buy this...” 

You: “He’s a Labour life peer in the 
House of Lords.” 

Execs: “So, he’s a costumed, gay, 
left-leaning, Muslim, millionaire 

Junior exec: “He’s like a Bruce Wayne 
figure in a Bruce Jenner world!” 

Senior exec: “Get out.” 

You: “And he stands up against 
the government when they try to 
dismantle the BBC, and he’ll say that 
everyone is corrupt at every level and 
that the only people getting nicked 
for actual theft are the poorest and — 

I think he might be the one...” 

Execs: “Does he have a name?” 

You: “Waheed Alii aka Baron Alii 
of Norbury. You realise that this is 
a true story?” 

Execs (exiting): “We’ll let you know.” □ 

Nick Jones 


iven what Soho House has become, 

G it is hard to remember that it 
started as an actual house. In Soho. 
In 1995, Nick Jones was offered a 
space above his Cafe Boheme on the corner of Greek 
Street in London. As the door was too small for it to 
be a restaurant, he decided to turn it into a private 
members’ club. “I wanted to create somewhere 
where a creative soul is valued more than anything 
else; a relaxed, ‘home-from-home’ environment,” 
Jones, 53, tells Esquire. “I didn’t know if there was 
going to be a market there. I hoped there would be.” 
His hopes appear well founded. Since it opened, 
Soho House has become the place to work, play and 


2 5 


2 5 

[ 174 ] 

languidly flop about. In the daytime, members sit 
on squishy sofas drinking coffee and pretending to 
type on laptops while surreptitiously checking out 
who else is “in”. At night, it’s where actors, musi- 
cians, artists, writers — and anyone with aspirations 
to be any of the aforementioned — come to see and 
be seen. Many a beautiful friendship has started in 
Soho House; many a messy night has ended there. 

And when we say the place, we mean many 
S places, because the Soho House group has begun 


w an empirical creep across the globe. There are 17 
J: clubs around the world, and every time a new one 

opens there is a frisson of excitement: a Soho House 
o in your town (or in the case of Soho Farmhouse, 

a nearby field) means that it’s on the scenester map. 
There’s an imminent House in Barcelona, then 
openings in Amsterdam, White City in west Lon- 
don, the reopening of Greek Street, and a restaurant 
and club complex, The Ned, in the City of London. 
There are plans to open in North America and Asia. 

This may make Jones’ proprietorial attention 
to detail — “I make sure I sit in every chair and lie 
in every bed,” he says — a little harder to pull off. 
But the founder is undaunted by his little house in 
Soho’s increasingly global reach. “If you’re British 
and you make it abroad, it’s a pretty good feeling.” □ 
S oho House Barcelona opens on 17 October; 

Corners of 
foreign fields 

that are forever Soho 

1. Soho House 40 Greek Street, 1995 

2. Babington House, 1998 

3. Electric House, 2002 

4. Soho House New York, 2003 

5. High Road House (Chiswick), 2005 

6. Shoreditch House, 2007 

7. Soho House Berlin, 2010 

8. Soho Beach House (Miami), 2010 

9. Soho House West Hollywood, 2010 

10. Little House (Mayfair), 2012 

11. Soho House Toronto, 2012 

12. Soho House Chicago, 2014 

13. Soho House Istanbul, 2015 

14. Soho Farmhouse, 2015 

15. Soho House 76 Dean Street, 2015 

16. Ludlow House, 2016 

17. Little Beach House Malibu, 2016 

18. Soho House Barcelona, 2016 

19. Mumbai, 2017 

20. Amsterdam, 2017 

21. Soho House 40 Greek Street, 
reopens 2017 

22. White City, 2017/18 

1. Be organised. You want it to 
be relaxed but not sloppy. 

2. A party needs to feel busy ; no one 
wants to walk into an empty room. 

3. Good lighting is important; you 
want people to feel comfortable. 

4. With food, keep it simple so you’re not 
stuck in the kitchen half the time. 


[ 175 ] 


Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn 




[ 176 ] 

Kevin Cummins 

hough they started out as gobby adversaries, Damon Albarn and Noel 
Gallagher, the brains (sorry Liam) behind two of Britain’s biggest indie 
bands, have had strangely parallel public lives that have seen them inex- 
orably drawn into each others’ orbit. Here’s how it breaks down: 


Noel Gallagher : “The working class 
hero who makes boastfulness 
likeable” (Esquire); “A potato” 

(Liam Gallagher). 

Damon Albarn: “Shape-shifting art 
pop mogul” (The Quietus); “The new 
David Bowie” (The Guardian). 


NG: Scally made good. 

DA: Art student made good. 


NG: Longsight, Manchester — 

“A really rough-arse part of town... 
[My childhood] was wrapped up in 
violence and drunkenness and there 
was no money... We couldn’t afford 
carpet and it was embarrassing when 
you’d bring girls back.” 

DA: Leytonstone, London — “We 
lived in a very ordinary little terraced 
house. But inside the house, it 
was painted silver, and there were 
mad kind of plastic, bright-coloured 
blocks which were our furniture... 

It was a pretty zany house... 

[my parents] used to have some 
great parties.” 


NG: The UK’s most outspoken and 
amusing rock star. Sample quote: 

“I fucking hate whingeing rock stars. 
And I hate pop stars who are just... 
neh. Just nothing, you know? ‘Oh, 
yeah, my last selfie got 47-thousand- 
million likes on Instagram.’ Yeah? 
Why don’t you fuck off and get 
a drug habit, you penis?” 

DA: The UK’s most aloof and 
media-wary rock star. Sample 
quote: “I couldn’t fit in with the 
lads at school. I was the weirdo. 
Post-stroke-gay. I always got 
called gay.” 


NG: The Beatles, The Who, 

David Bowie, The Ha^enda, U2, 

The Soundtrack of Our Lives. 

DA: Syd Barrett, The Kinks, 

David Bowie, “Madchester”, 

African and Middle Eastern music. 


NG: De finitely Maybe (1994). 
DAjParklife (1994). 


NG: 36 (26 Oasis; 10 Noel Gallagher’s 
High Flying Birds) — eight UK 
Number Ones. 

DA: 42 (27 Blur; 11 Gorillaz; three 
The Good, the Bad & the Queen; 
one solo) — three UK Number Ones. 


NG: 10 (eight Oasis; two Noel 
Gallagher’s High Flying Birds) — 
nine UK Number Ones. 

DA: 15 (eight Blur; four Gorillaz; 
one The Good, the Bad & the Queen; 
two solo albums) — seven UK 
Number Ones. 


NG: six Brit Awards (18 nominations); 
nil Grammy (three nominations). 

DA: five Brit Awards (31 nominations); 
one Grammy (10 nominations); 
one Mercury nomination; OBE (2016). 


NG: Blur, Liam Gallagher (“He’s the 
angriest man you’ll ever meet. He’s 
like a man with a fork in a world of 
soup”), Robbie Williams, Radiohead, 
One Direction, Arctic Monkeys, 

Apple Music. 

DA: Oasis, Blur, Adele. 


NG: Noel Gallagher’s High 
Flying Birds. 

DA: Gorillaz, Mali Music, 

The Good, the Bad & the Queen, 
Rocket Juice and the Moon, 

Africa Express, numerous film, 
opera and theatre soundtracks. 


NG: Collaborating with 
Damon Albarn. 

DA: Collaborating with 
Noel Gallagher. Q 

Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn at the 
NME Brat Awards, London, January 1995 

Soundtrack of the 
(quarter) century 

Ten British albums you almost 
certainly bought on CD (and no 
longer own: Spotify, etc) 



Massive Attack 



Primal Scream 






The Verve 



Fatboy Slim 






( 2001 ) 


The Streets 

( 2002 ) 


The Libertines 

( 2002 ) 


Arctic Monkeys 




The xx 



[ 177 ] 

Below: Sir Simon Campbell 
photographed in London, 2006 


Sir Simon 


t’s not true that Sir Simon Campbell, 

I who led a pioneering research team 

at the drugs giant Pfizer, was the 
developer of Viagra, despite him 
being classified as such by The Telegraph and other 
media outlets, when he was knighted in the New 
Year’s Honours of 2015, for services to chemistry. 
“I’m not on the Viagra patent,” he clarified to the 
BBC at the time. “I would say I was the father of Via- 
gra because I laid the seed and started the project.” 
(He did, however, create Cardura and Norvasc, pop- 
ular treatments for high blood pressure.) 

That original proposal for Viagra was written to 
instigate research into a compound for angina and 
high blood pressure. After the first clinical trials of 
the drug, under its generic name, sildenafil, at the 
Morriston Hospital in Swansea in the early Nine- 
ties, male patients reported unexpected yet highly 
satisfactory side effects, several days after a dose of 
the drug. Researchers initially thought the findings 
unimportant. Ian Osterloh, who ran the trials, later 
recalled, “I remember thinking that even if it did 
work, who would want to take a drug on a Wednes- 
day to get an erection on Saturday?” 

Eventually, with so much evidence pointing in 
a new direction, the focus of the trial changed, from 
heart problems to erectile dysfunction, and so did 
Viagra’s lead time. On 27 March 1998, Campbell’s 
57th birthday, the US government approved Viagra 
and users could expect a positive result about half 
an hour after taking a pill (it’s the same today). The 
effects took a little longer to reach the UK, where 
Viagra only became available on the NHS in July 
1999. Pfizer’s share price, meanwhile, had doubled. 

Campbell did not become super-rich and famous 
along with his employers. The lot of the industrial 
chemist is to be relatively well paid for the work of 
discovering drugs for a company you understand 
— from your first day in the lab — will own entirely 
any drugs you discover. There is no profit share or 
percentage-per-pill. “Most scientists are doing it 
because they love the work,” says David Brown — 

formerly of Pfizer and now chief scientist of Anti- 
biotic Research UK — who is one of three chemists 
whose name is on the 1991 sildenafil patent. “I hav- 
en’t even told my neighbours in the village where 
I live that I was an inventor of Viagra.” 

Brown also says that Campbell was driven 
to the point of “sometimes being overly tough with 
people,” but also that “he was one of those people 
who was right more often than he was wrong. Sci- 
entific research is mostly failure, and Simon had 
far more success than most. He had an instinct for 
what was going to work.” 

Campbell is also the sort of man who goes 
to Brazil for the 60th birthday of a former uni- 
versity football teammate; he was a visiting 
professor at the University of Sao Paulo from 
1970-’72, after getting a PhD in chemistry from 
the University of Birmingham in 1965 and doing 
post-doctoral research in Chile. He joined Pfizer 
in 1972 as a medicinal chemist and rose to become 
senior VP for worldwide discovery, before retiring 
in 1998. He was president of the Royal Society of 
Chemistry from 2004-’06. Now 75, he is co-chair 
of the Royal Society’s Science, Industry and Trans- 
lation Committee. 

“He’s a remarkable chap,” says Professor Ray 
Hill, Imperial College London pharmacologist. 
“Chemists tend to be formal, and that is not Simon. 
He’s an excellent scientist but also an excellent 
people-person — an unusual combination in 
a chemist.” 

Viagra itself also had an unexpected social 
element alongside the scientific achievement. 
It started a conversation, about a man’s most per- 
sonal and potentially emotionally crippling social 
problem, that did not exist before, but a taboo 
shattered nonetheless. And at the centre of it all, 
Sir Simon Campbell, silent hero of sex and science, 
whose name does not appear on Viagra’s Wikipe- 
dia page, but whose prompting, guidance and wise 
counsel led to literally millions of men enjoying an 
unprecedented, life -changing boost. Q 

2 5 


Suits you... Sir 

Knight movers and shakers 

2 5 

[ 178 ] 

Sir Ian McKellen (1991) 

Sir Paul McCartney (1997) 
Sir Paul Smith (2000) 

Sir Mick Jagger (2004) 

Sir Salman Rushdie (2007) 
Sir Bradley Wiggins (2013) 

Sir-tainly not 

Knights who said, ‘No!’ 

Alan Bennett (declined in 1996) 
Peter Higgs (declined in 1999) 
David Bowie (declined in 2003) 

Stephen Hawking (declined in 2009) 
Danny Boyle (declined in 2012) 
Mark Rylance (reputedly) 

met Steve McQueen 

I once. He was terrify- 

ing. It was an interview 
situation, and when- 
ever the multiple-award-winning 
artist-turned-director didn’t like a 
question he’d brusquely shut me down 
and demand a new one, shouting, “Just 
hit me! Hit me with anything!” We met 
in-between the awards season trail 
for his 2011 sex addiction drama film 
Shame and pre-production duties on 
his Oscar-magnet 12 Years a Slave. He 
explained, later that day, chummy and 
relaxed, that people misunderstand 
him. He’s simply passionate. 

Yes, the 46 -year- old from west Lon- 
don is big into passion. And the truth. 
And the need to be relevant. It comes, it 
would seem, directly from his creative 
background, as a fine arts student at 
Goldsmiths College and as the 1999 win- 
ner of the Turner Prize (he beat Tracey 
Emin’s bed!). He’s slippery too. Impossi- 
ble to pin down. And if you overplay his 
arty beginnings he’ll dismiss it entirely 
and say that, actually, he always wanted 
to be a film-maker. 

What is certain, however, is that he 
has brought more than “just” an artist’s 
perception to the world of movies (if it 
was that easy then Julian Schnabel and 
Sam Taylor- Johnson would be up there, 


Steve McQueen 


Left: Steve McQueen 
photographed by Djeneba 
Aduayom, Los Angeles, 

too). From early in his knockout 
feature debut in 2008, Hunger, it 
became very clear that McQueen 
was using the camera with utter 
sincerity, even naivete, as some sort 
of newfangled truth-telling device. 

In that film, about the hunger 
strikes of 1981, he stared, and we 
stared, unflinchingly, while a prison 
corridor slowly, slowly, filled with 
urine. In Shame there was an unfor- 
gettable, and seemingly ruthless, 
close-up of Michael Fassbender’s 
despairing sex addict Brandon 
caught between an orgasm (he’s hav- 
ing a threesome) and a wincing plea 
to the watching audience for a quick 
and efficient mercy-killing. While 
in 12 Years a Slave, the whipping of 
Lupita Nyong’o’s innocent Patsey 
is carried out in almost surreally 
prolonged, yet appropriately pun- 
ishing detail. 

He’s timely, too, McQueen. He 
hates being called an “issues” film- 
maker, and insists that he never 
“feeds” his audiences. And yet Shame 
arrived in the heat of discussions 
about the “pornification” of con- 
temporary culture. While 12 Years 
a Slave prefigured, by mere months, 
both the Black Lives Matter and the 
#OscarsSoWhite campaigns. On the 
downside, he doesn’t do humour. 
But you sense that he is simply not 
interested in gags. He is apparently 
juggling two potential upcoming 
projects — abiopic of Paul Robeson 
and a BBC drama about the lives of 
black Britons — neither of which 
seems particularly geared towards 
throwaway punchlines. Life is tran- 
sient, he reminded me, earnestly, 
and with passion, at the end of our 
encounter. “And all that matters is 
what you leave behind. Everything 
you do should be as if it’s your last. 
There’s no point otherwise.” Q 


[ 179 ] 

You are follically challenged... match these infamous haircuts of the last 
quarter- century to their equally infamous owners. 
(Answers below) 

David Beckham celebrates his injury- 
time equaliser against Greece to secure 
World Cup qualification for England, 
Old Trafford, Manchester, October 2001 

avid Beckham — born in 

D Leytonstone, son of a kitchen 
fitter and a hairdresser — has 
done majestically well in life 
for a good-looking lad unusually skilled at 
striking a ball with his right foot. 

On the wing of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Man- 
chester United in the late Nineties, Beck- 
ham won every medal going. By no means 
that team’s best player, he became the most 
iconic. But his devotion to his own image 
seemed to rival his commitment to the red 
jersey; and, infamously, the boss wasn’t hav- 
ing it. When, after an FA Cup loss to Arsenal 
in 2003, Ferguson angrily kicked a stray boot 
across a changing room and inflicted a cut on 
Beckham’s photogenic brow, it was a sym- 
bolic end of an era. 

There was, however, no stopping Beck- 
ham’s rise. His ardent following among 
women and gay men was wholly unprece- 
dented for a footballer. Straight blokes were 
possibly less enchanted by the glamour-puss 
posing off the pitch: the OK !- sponsored 
wedding to Victoria Adams, the scheduled 
hair-dos, the parading in a sarong, the goth- 
ic-script rapper tattoos — what Brian Clough 
disparaged as “pop star rubbish”. Yet with 
each new frippery Beckham was repaid in 
headlines and lucrative contracts, so becom- 
ing the world’s foremost metrosexual. 

His admirers still see in him qualities 
far beyond that aforementioned right-foot 
expertise. England fans, for example, for- 
gave him some poor shows in the finals of 
major tournaments. His self-inflicted red 
card against Argentina in 1998 was painfully 
immature, though he recovered his reputa- 
tion with great resolve and dragged England 

25 AT 25 


British sportsmen’s greatest 
moments since 1991 

Admittedly Faldo’s triumph had more to do with 
nemesis Greg Norman’s collapse, but the pair’s 
consoling embrace was as uplifting as the British win. 

Despite Sir Steve’s 1996 request to be shot if he 
got back in the boat, he rowed home his fifth 
consecutive gold medal at the Sydney Olympics. 


Let’s face it, the England football team haven’t 
covered themselves in glory over the past 25 years, but 
that night in Munich will always remain a highlight. 

The long-awaited face-off was nearly 
overshadowed by the build-up, but Lewis’ right 
hook in the eighth round was well worth the wait. 

Jonny Wilkinson’s drop goal in the last minute of 
extra time was a heart-in-the-mouth moment that 
those watching— and we all were — will never forget. 

THE ASHES, 2005 
Crowing over a victory is never cool, unless it’s the 
Aussies and the Ashes. After 16 years and eight 
winless series, England finally won back that urn. 

Winning margins don’t come closer than Hamilton’s 
overtaking of Timo Glock on the last corner of 
the last lap of the last race of the season, to win the 
Drivers’ Championship by one, glorious, point. 

Though Team Sky have perfected the art of grinding 
out robotic victories, Sir Brad’s win — the first for 
a British rider — still had charismatic quirk. 

The London Olympics were a general orgy of 
nationalistic pride, but the double drama ofFarah’s 
gold-winning performances were the twin peaks. 

After 77 years of asking, Britain finally had a men’s 
singles champion when Murray defeated world 
number one Novak Djokovic. He even smiled. 

[ 180 ] 

Haircut answers: 1 Simon Cowell; 2 David Beckham; 3 Peter Andre; 4 Boris Johnson; 5 Chris Evans; 6 Harry Styles 

Additional words by Miranda Collinge 
and Joseph Penaliggon I Getty I Rex 

David Beckham 


to the next World Cup with an heroic late free- 
kick against Greece. On the big stage, though, 
Beckham could be unreliable in the tackle and 
from the penalty spot, and yet he was selected 
even when unfit, as if he were needed to carry 
the team — which he wasn’t. 

From United he went to Real Madrid: 
a marriage of brands and a shirt-flogging 
exercise, though he played his part in the 
team’s 2007 La Liga-winning season. After 

that came a well-paid swansong in Hollywood 
with short spells in Milan and Paris, then 
retirement in 2013 that saw him segue with 
ease into a suited executive look. 

Beckham’s great fame really has less to 
do with football than any famous footballer 
you could name. But when Roy Keane chose 
his all-star Manchester United XI, he picked 
Beckham on the right. And you can’t argue 
with Keane — or I wouldn’t, anyhow. Q 


[ 181 ] 

November 2016 


Bright future 

Photographs by Fashion by 

Anton Corbijn Catherine Hayward 

November 2016 

In an issue dedicated to considerations of the past, a new name to 
look out for: 25-year-old Brit Joe Alwyn is about to be very famous 
indeed as the star of Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, 
an adaptation of the acclaimed novel set during the Iraq War 



Blue double-jersey 
wool-cotton jacket, 
£1,350; blue double- 
jersey wool-cotton 
trousers, £520, both 
by Giorgio Armani 

November 2016 



herringbone wool- 
blend coat, £1,695; 
black striped denim 
jacket, £595, both 
by Burberry 


November 2016 


Paul Smith 

Burgundy check- 
printed wool jacket, 
£715; salmon pink 
cashmere jumper, 
£315; burgundy 
check-printed wool 
trousers, £325; brown 
leather boots, £370, 
all by Paul Smith 

November 2016 

In the spring of 2015, Joe Aiwyn was 
a drama student in London. He’d just signed 
with an agent, who suggested he audition 
for the director Ang Lee’s new film. (Lee is 
the man, in case you didn’t know, behind 
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and 
Brokeback Mountain (2005), among other 

“I got my dad to tape some [audition] 
scenes in my room,” remembers the 25-year- 
old, “and asked some friends to tape me in my 
lunch break at drama school, and I sent the 
tapes to America.” Two days later, he was on 
a plane to New York to read in person for Lee 
and the casting director for Lee’s next project. 

an adaptation of the best US novel so far to 
come out of the Iraq War, Ben Fountain’s crit- 
ically revered Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. 
Aiwyn was auditioning for the part of Billy. 

Lee and the casting director kept Aiwyn in 
New York, asking him to try different scenes, 
then took him to Atlanta to read more in 
make-up and costume in front of the 3D cam- 
eras to be used for the film proper, then even- 
tually — perhaps sympathetically — put him 
on a plane back to London. In bed the next 
night, he got another call telling him the 
part was his. Four days later he dropped out 
of drama school. According to Aiwyn, it was 
“a very strange week”, an understatement that 

perfectly reflects his unassuming demeanour. 

It isn’t often one gets to meet someone in 
the days before they go from regular person 
to international star. Joe Aiwyn is about to 
be everywhere, and yet no one’s ever heard 
of him. (Also in Billy Lynn: Kristen Stewart, 
Chris Tucker, Vin Diesel and Steve Martin.) 
Aiwyn grew up in north London with a film- 
maker father and psychotherapist mother, and 
never really exhibited a desire to act at first. 
“I was never the loud kid, the precocious kid,” 
he says. “In my mind, the idea of an actor 
was one of those people who put themselves 
out there all the time. I was, and am, more 
introverted, I guess.” 


l » 


f * 

1 1 

November 2016 

However, the desire soon grew throughout 
his education. He acted whenever he could at 
school and, in addition to English literature, 
studied drama at Bristol University, taking 
numerous productions to Edinburgh as an 
undergraduate. The dramatic career began in 
earnest at the Royal Central School of Speech 
and Drama, but when he sent those tapes to 
Ang Lee in the States, he was still very much 
an unknown quantity. 

It’s this rawness that may have given Alwyn 
the edge for the role of Billy Lynn. The film 
tells the story of a teenage soldier who comes 
home a hero after a particularly grisly battle 
in Iraq, and is presented to America on a tour 

culminating in an extravagant halftime live 
show at a Thanksgiving Day football game. 
It’s the story of a young man — a boy, really — 
thrown into a world he doesn’t yet understand 
and then presented on a pedestal to the world: 
parallels with Alwyn’s own story are obvious. 

“There’s an echo [between his and Billy’s 
stories], and I was aware of that. Ang likes his 
actors to be raw. They’re unformed and have 
no habits in front of the camera. You’re just 
trying to be truthful to the situation, rather 
than having any knowledge of how a film set 
works, and you have no barriers up,” he says. 

In the movie, when the dazzle of the sta- 
dium pyros have faded, Billy goes back to 

reality. Joe Alwyn’s time in the limelight is just 
beginning. We’ll next see him in a BBC pro- 
duction of Julian Barnes’ Booker Prize-win- 
ning novel The Sense of an Ending starring 
alongside Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling 
and Emily Mortimer. Beyond that, he doesn’t 
know, but Alwyn isn’t fazed either way: “Peo- 
ple who I don’t know so well expect things to 
have changed a lot, like something huge has 
shifted in me. And I don’t feel that at all.” EJ 

Charlie Teasdale 

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is in cinemas 
on 6 January 2017 


Brown/beige checked 
tweed jacket, £3,160; 
brown/beige tweed 
checked shirt, £1,270; 
grey/black chevron- 
velvet trousers, £710; 
black cotton socks, 
£70; burgundy/grey 
leather shoes, £795, 
all by Prada 







9 * 

November 2016 



Blue/grey wool Prince 
of Wales check bomber 
jacket, £980; black 
viscose embroidered 
shirt-jacket, £505; 
blue stone-washed 
denim trousers, £405, 
all by Lanvin 

November 2016 


Louis Vuitton 

Navy/grey patterned 
wool trench coat, 
£4,730; white crew 
neck long-sleeve 
T-shirt, £185; navy 
wool patch-pocket 
trousers, £600; 
black glazed calf 
leather boots, £830, 
all by Louis Vuitton 


November 2016 


Dior Homme 

Red/black checked 
cotton-flannel shirt, 
£400; black denim 
skinny jeans, £420; 
black calfskin 
boots, £720, all by 
Dior Homme 


November 2016 


Photographer’s assistant: Anja Grabert 
Fashion assistant: Ernie James-Crook 
Grooming: Mari Ohashi at LGA Management 
using Bumble and Bumble I See Stockists 
page for details 


Olive/navy checked 
wool-blend blouson jacket 
with shearling collar, 
£250; flint blue cotton 
T-shirt, £25; navy checked 
wool slim-cut trousers, 
£120, all by Jaeger 

Tony Blair 

Continuedfrom page 163 

“Occasionally we can,” he said. “But it is pretty 
occasional. Not on this trip. She will come to the 
dinner we’ve got tonight but it’s a working dinner.” 
Is it rare for Cherie to come on work trips? 
“Reasonably, because I tend to be in and out. 
But I also try to make sure I spend time at home.” 
We talked about how he fights jet lag (“I take 
a sleeping pill if I have to”), his exercise routine 
(“I go to the gym most days; it gets more impor- 
tant as you get older”), and I asked about the 
psychological effects of his strange, accelerated 
existence, of life inside the bubble. 

“You’ve got to keep, as I would say, control of 
your soul,” he said. “Because otherwise you do 
become weird. You’ve got to realise that in the end 
you are never as important as you think you are.” 
He used to make a contrast between politi- 
cians and “normal people”, the suggestion being 
he was among the latter. Does he still think so? 

“You have to be very careful of that kind of 
self-analysis,” he said. “A hundred people stand 
up and say, ‘He’s not normal at all!”’ 


15 SEPTEMBER 2016 


You have made a lot of money since you left 
office. Why is it necessary to make so much? 

“Because otherwise you can’t build your organi- 
sation. And I put a large amount of my money into 
the organisation. I’ve actually given away proba- 
bly more than my net worth.” 

Can you tell me how much? Otherwise all peo- 
ple know is you get £2m a year from JP Mor- 
gan, and you’ve got big houses. 

“Look, I’ve got to be very clear about this. For the 
first time in my life, in my sixties, I have enough 
money to have a nice house in London, a nice 
house in the country. That’s absolutely true and 
I’m not saying I don’t. Today, I’ve got a much 
higher standard of living than I’ve ever had. OK. 
All of that’s true. However, I’ve put millions and 

millions of pounds that I’ve earned into running 
the organisation. I’ve given away, I think, in char- 
itable donations, over £10m. If I wanted to make 
money, I’d spend my life making money. It’s always 
difficult, this, because on one level, of course I’ve 
done well. The business has been successful. But 
on another level, what we’ve been able to do as 
a result of that is to build the infrastructure to 
allow us to do more not-for-profit work. Now I will 
maintain my personal consultancy [work] but oth- 
erwise everything moves into not-for-profit, and 
I will be gifting a substantial amount of money 
to that work. In the end, if people want to know 
what I’m actually doing and how I actually spend 
my time, they should go to the website and have 
a look at it. The rest, if they want to believe what 
they read in the Daily Mail or these other papers...” 

I read some of it in The Times. In April, The 
Times reported that — I’m quoting here — you 
“use a secret trust to manage your multimil- 
lion-pound wealth”. Is there a secret trust to 
manage your multimillion-pound wealth? 
“No. What we have is an arrangement which 
allows us privacy. What [The Times] wanted to do, 
they wanted to write a story saying I was trying 
to avoid tax. It then emerged from their so-called 
undercover operation that everyone agreed not 
merely that there was no tax avoidance but that 
I’d actually instructed the people that set up my 
arrangements that there should be no tax avoid- 
ance. So, we employ no tax dodgers at all. I pay my 
full tax and I pay it on all my earnings, worldwide, 
even though I don’t actually make any money in 
this country. Which, by the way, I should do.” 

Because your business affairs are more diffi- 
cult to untangle than your charitable work, and 
because of the secrecy, that creates suspicion. 
Do you regret setting them up in that way? 

“It’s difficult. If I thought that in disclosing the 
information it would be properly used, I’d prob- 
ably disclose more. But in the new arrangements 
we’re changing all of that and so all of these struc- 
tures will go. The business side will close.” 

Do you regret working as an adviser to the 
Kazakhstan government? Apart from any- 
thing else, it gave people another stick to beat 
you with. 

“That’s true. And that was difficult. And actually 
we haven’t worked in Kazakhstan for a couple of 
years but I’m very happy to say why we worked 
there. It’s important that people realise, Kazakh- 
stan is a country that is wedged between Russia 
and China, a country the size of Europe that 
insists on being an ally of the West as well as hav- 
ing alliances with Russia and China. It’s a majority 
Muslim country that is moderate, and the people 
we were working with there were really good, 
reforming ministers, and we were doing very sen- 
sible work there. But, of course, it turned into a big 
stick to beat us with.” 

Because it’s an autocratic government and you 
are meant to oppose autocratic governments. 

“Yeah. No, I understand that. But what is impor- 
tant to work out, if countries have tried to embark 
on a process of change, is: is it good to help them 
or not? And I think it is good to help them but I 
understand why it allows people to say, ‘You’re 
doing something you shouldn’t be.’ There were 
reasons we had for doing it. But we haven’t worked 
there now for a couple of years.” 

If David Cameron were to ask you for advice 
on what to do now, what would you tell him to 
do, and not to do? 

“I’ve definitely made mistakes since I left.” 

What were they? 

“I think we allowed the money thing to become 
far too big an issue. We’ve had to spend our whole 
time persuading people that the complexity of 
the financial structure was not about tax avoid- 
ance when it obviously wasn’t. And, also, I think 
you’ve just got to realise, to your point on working 
in Kazakhstan, that with something like that, 
however much objectively you can justify it, and 
it’s sensible to do it, you’re going to get a lot of 
criticism. But I think, as I’ve said to you before, 
what is difficult is people leave office young now. 
[Cameron is] leaving office even younger than I 
was. He’s got at least 20 active years of his life yet. 
I mean, what’s he going to do? If he makes money 
through speaking or takes certain positions, he’ll 
be criticised for that.” 

T o get to the Prime Minister’s office in 
Jerusalem you must first pass through a 
series of security checks. Your passport 
must be studied at length, by three young women 
in black suits, who must talk among themselves, 
glancing occasionally in your direction and then 
returning to their whispered conversation. Then 
— in my case, anyway — you must be led outside 
into the sunshine and asked a series of questions 
about what you are doing in Israel by a girl who 
looks to be no older than 19. What is your busi- 
ness with the Prime Minister? Who booked your 
appointment? Who else have you met while you’ve 
been in the country? Where else have you been? 
Where are you staying? How long? Then the girl 
must go back inside and relay all this to a more 
senior woman, possibly as old as 22, and you must 
be taken outside again and asked more questions. 
Your passport must be taken from you, returned, 
taken from you again, and returned again. 

At length, I was allowed to pass through the 
metal detector and into the building. The interior 
is not grand. It’s functional, even a bit shabby. It 

2 5 


2 5 

[ 192 ] 

could be any grey municipal building in a pro- 
vincial town: the mayor’s office in a Midwestern 
American city, perhaps. 

After a wait on a sofa, and a coffee from the 
machine, I was led down a long beige corridor, 
small offices on either side, a large pot plant beside 
each one. At the end, on the right, a glass door led 
into a large outer office. Here, I placed my phone 
in a plastic basket. I showed my Dictaphone to the 
woman holding the basket and she nodded to say 
it was fine for me to take it into the room. “Good 
luck!” called out one of Tony Blair’s staffers, as the 
doors opened. I took this to be a sign that I might 
need it. 

The office is not large. It is smarter, homelier 
even, than the communal parts of the building. 
I filed in with members of Blair’s team and what 
seemed an enormous amount of aides, who lined 
up against a wall in front of a map of the Middle 
East. Simon Emmett, who took the photos on 
these pages, was with me, as he was throughout 
my trip to Israel, and he began snapping away. 

Blair and the Prime Minister, Benjamin 
Netanyahu, were seated bilaterally, on leather 
armchairs, a circular glass-topped coffee table 
between them. Netanyahu is not a tall man, but 
he’s solidly built. I felt that both Blair and I seemed 
slender and insubstantial in his presence. Blair’s 
chatty good-blokeishness is designed to put peo- 
ple at ease, and it works like a charm. Netanyahu 
doesn’t go in for that kind of thing. He was wear- 
ing a dark suit and a red patterned tie. We were all 
wearing dark suits and ties, even Blair, who rarely 
bothers with the neckwear. Blair introduced me 
and I shook hands with Netanyahu, who waved at 
some chairs that were arranged around a modest 
table. “Do what you have to do,” he said, or some- 
thinglike that. I turned a chair round and sat near 
Blair, who nodded at me, and gave me a tense 
smile. I showed him my voice recorder and indi- 
cated I was about to press “record” but he shook 
his head as if to say “Probably best not to” — this 
was, then, to be an off-the-record briefing — and 
I said something like, “OK, I’ll write it down.” I’d 
been keeping notes in the other meetings, even 
when they were not for publication. 

As Simon stepped forward to get his shots, 
Blair told Netanyahu, as he had told a number 
of his contacts here in Jerusalem, that Simon 
was a “world-renowned” photographer who 
lives in London, but that he was also an Israeli. 
Both these statements are true: Simon is indeed 
world-renowned, and he has both British and 
Israeli passports. Netanyahu didn’t seem espe- 
cially impressed. 

He asked Simon if he speaks Hebrew. In 
Hebrew, Simon answered that he does. The Prime 
Minister spoke a short sentence to Simon, while 
rapping his knuckles, quite hard, on the coffee 
table. Then Netanyahu translated for me: “Do 
what you have to do, and do it fast.” 

We all laughed. My laughter was possibly 
slightly more forced. “So: ask,” said Netanyahu. 

I wanted to know if he really thought that the 
plan for peace that Blair is promoting — a new 
framework for multilateral peace talks, involving 
the Arab states as well as the Israelis and the Pal- 
estinians — could work? Was he optimistic? 

Netanyahu started to speak, quickly, in perfect 
English, and I began to scribble. (It’s at moments 
such as these that I regret most my lack of short- 
hand.) He said that he felt more optimistic about 
peace than he had a year previously, and that he’d 
felt more optimistic then, than he had the year 
before that. 

He then began to say flattering things about 
Blair’s role in the process, about what an “invalua- 
ble partner” Blair is, and Blair, sensing that all this 
was definitely on the record and I wasn’t getting 
it word perfectly, which was irritating, looked at 
me and whispered, firmly: “Turn your machine 
on!” I did, but Netanyahu had moved on to talking 
more specifically about the chances for peace. 

Blair need not have worried. I’d written down 
what Netanyahu said about him. When Netan- 
yahu had finished speaking, he glared at me. He 
told me I should feel free to edit what he’d said, 
but that I was not to change the sense of it. I said 
I wouldn’t. Within 24 hours I was supplied with 
a transcript of the meeting. 

(I debated whether or not to include that scene. 
It makes Blair’s visit to the Prime Minister’s office 
seem self-serving. And my and Simon’s presence 
at it purely cosmetic: we were being allowed in 
only to record the fact that the meeting had taken 
place, that Blair has the ear of the Israeli Prime 
Minister, and that the peace talks are a real possi- 
bility, not only the fantasy of a man eager to repair 
his reputation. Then again, it happened, and it was 
quite funny, or I thought so — maybe you had to 
be there — and no doubt the joke, if there is one, 
is on me.) 

What Netanyahu said was essentially the same 
thing that Blair and other contacts of his had been 
saying to me since I’d arrived in Israel three days 
earlier. I have edited it, as I have all the conversa- 
tions in this piece, but not in a way that alters the 
substance of it. 

He said that the conditions might be right to 
begin a new push for a broader Arab-Israeli peace 
and an Israeli-Palestinian peace. And that he 
shared Blair’s analysis that the two are connected. 

“There is a change in our region and in the 
world,” Netanyahu said, “as many countries 
understand that Israel is not their enemy, but their 
ally in the battle against the twin forces of mili- 
tant Islam — the militant Shiites led by Iran and 
the militant Sunnis led by Isis. And this creates 
opportunities for cooperation and for normalising 
relations between Israel and the Arab world. 

“It used to be said that if we have a break- 
through for peace with the Palestinians, then we’d 
have a breakthrough for a broader Arab-Israeli 
peace. And that’s certainly true, but more and 
more it looks like things could work actually the 
other way around — that by normalising our rela- 

tions with the Arab world, we can harness these 
newfound relationships to bring peace between 
Israel and the Palestinians. And that is something 
that I’ve been discussing continuously and seri- 
ously with Tony, and with others in the region and 
beyond the region.” 

When Netanyahu had finished speaking and 
it was clear the interview was over, Blair and Net- 
anyahu had their photo taken together in front of 
the map, and when that was finished I joined them 
there. Beneath the map was a glass case about the 
size of a shoebox. Inside it, Netanyahu told us, 
pointing at each in turn, were two objects: the 
first was a model of an ancient Roman arrowhead, 
the kind used to kill Jews during the destruction 
of the Second Temple in AD70. The other was 
a model of the Arrow, Israel’s anti-ballistic mis- 
sile. It looked like a child’s plastic toy. That was 
their arrow, Netanyahu said to Blair, pointing at 
it again, and this is ours. The Romans, he said, are 
long gone from Jerusalem. “We’re still here.” 

He said it in the way a twinkly great uncle 
might tell an old family anecdote. But I don’t 
think anyone could have missed his point, and 
certainly Blair hadn’t. Netanyahu’s story was not 
an amusing one, and his point was deadly serious, 
but it seemed to demand a worldly response. Blair 
laughed, diplomatically. 

It was Sunday morning, the first day of the 
working week in Israel. Blair had arrived in the 
country 48 hours earlier, on a night flight from 
Sierra Leone. His trip to Africa had included visits 
to a palm kernel oil processing factory in Liberia, 
discussions about energy with the President of 
Guinea, and a tour of the port at Freetown, Sierra 
Leone’s capital. 

Now he was in Israel, talking peace. This was 
his 32nd visit to the country in a year, I was told. 
(He seemed a bit shocked when I passed that titbit 
along.) It began at the offices of the Quartet on the 
Middle East, in East Jerusalem, the Arab part of 
the city. It was from this building that for eight 
years, until he resigned in 2015, Blair worked as 
the Middle East envoy of the Quartet (the UN, US, 

EU and Russia), his only official job since leaving 
Downing Street. 

He had three meetings in quick succession: 
with a high-ranking figure of the Quartet; a sen- 
ior Palestinian; and an expert on the region. (Not 
everyone is as happy as Blair and Netanyahu for 
their names to appear in the pages of a glossy 
magazine, for reasons that became obvious to me 
as the delicacy of their positions was explained, so 
as requested I haven’t named them.) 

We moved in convoy to the splendid King 
David Hotel, in West Jerusalem, through the 
fierce heat of the afternoon. Simon and I rode in 
the first of three Land Cruisers, with UN decals 
on their roofs. Blair rode in the second. We were 
accompanied by two of Blair’s team, both Israeli 
women, as well as four Scotland Yard policemen. 

The King David once housed the offices of the 
British Mandatory authorities of Palestine, and > 


[ 193 ] 

was famously bombed, in 1946, by the Zionist par- 
amilitaries of the Irgun. Here, in the basement, 
Blair met Dore Gold. (It’s pronounced Dory, as in 
Finding Dory) Gold is an urbane, moustachioed 
man, expansive in both conversation and waist- 
line. A veteran Israeli diplomat — American by 
birth and education — Gold was at one time the 
Israeli Ambassador to the UN (not, I sensed, a pop- 
ular organisation in the country) and has been a 
close adviser to former Israeli prime minister Ariel 
Sharon and to Netanyahu, who has recently made 
him director-general of the Foreign Ministry. 

Like the others we met, Gold was cautiously 
encouraging about the possibilities for peace. He 
said that the new framework for negotiations that 
Blair was promoting was worth trying. 

“The opportunity is obvious,” he said. 
“Whether it is seized or not.” 

No matter whom he met, Blair exuded a sort 
of controlled bonhomie. He was friendly but not 
familiar, informal but respectful. He made every- 
one feel important, he made even me feel (almost) 
important. He continued to introduce Simon as 
a “world-renowned” photographer, which made 
Simon feel good, and also everyone else in the 
room feel good, because it’s pleasant to feel that 
one is participating in events that justify the 
presence of a “world-renowned” photographer. 
One foreign ambassador to Israel beamed like 
a competition winner. 

On the hour-long drive back from Jerusalem to 
Herzliya, an affluent coastal enclave north of Tel 
Aviv, where the Blair group was booked into the 
Ritz- Carlton hotel, I sat on a bench seat in the back 
of our Land Cruiser and stared out of the window. 
We sped past mountains and valleys, past palm 
trees, past Palestinian towns on one side and 
Israeli towns on the other, the former quite clearly 
less prosperous, by many degrees, than the latter. 
The setting sun shone softly and pinkly on both, 
without discrimination. 

The next morning, in his suite overlooking the 
beach and the sparkling Mediterranean, in chinos 
and a light blue shirt the same colour as the cloud- 
less sky, I asked Blair what exactly he was doing 
here in Israel, given the fact he no longer has an 
official role. 

He took me through the history. During his 
time as prime minister, he said, he had some 
involvement with the issue of Israel and Pales- 
tine. In 2007, he decided, as he prepared to leave 
office, that he would take on the building of Pal- 
estinian statehood as one of his causes, hence his 
appointment as envoy for the Quartet. There were 
negotiations over what his mandate would be, 
and ultimately it was non-political. “That became 
an inhibition, frankly,” he said. To the press and 
public, Blair had been sent to Jerusalem to bring 
peace to the Middle East — or something. Actu- 
ally, his job was less ambitious, though perhaps 
not that much less difficult: he was to work with 
the Palestinian Authority to build the Palestinian 
economy in the West Bank and Gaza. Eventu- 

ally, he found that having no say in the political 
situation meant that his efforts were stymied by 
circumstances beyond his influence. 

“I ended up in a situation you should never be 
in in politics,” he said, “which is responsibility but 
not power. I mean, having power without respon- 
sibility is great but having responsibility without 
power is not very sensible.” 

The reason, in Blair’s view, that peace between 
the Israelis and the Palestinians is not just desira- 
ble — for obvious reasons — but potentially trans- 
formative is that “if you manage to make peace 
between Arabs and Israelis, you strike a huge 
blow for cultural acceptance and for peaceful 
coexistence. Alternatively, if it ends up in conflict 
and dispute, you give power to those elements that 
are extreme. 

“It’s not just a territorial issue,” he said of Isra- 
el-Palestine. “It is in part a conflict about cultural 
acceptance. It has implications for the world.” 

I asked him again to explain to me exactly 
where he fits into all this. 

“My role is that I have established relation- 
ships in the region. From the first months I came 
here, people said, ‘You’ll last six months.’ Well, I’m 
still here. ‘You’ll last a year.’ I’m still here. After 
I left the Quartet they said ‘That’s it, he’s off now.’ 
I’m still here.” 

“What’s been very strange since leaving the 
Quartet,” he added, “is that, because I don’t have 
an official position, it’s actually easier for me. 
People feel able to be more frank. And so what 
I do is, I work on how this [process] might be put 
together. And I think there is a general desire to 
have [the Arab nations] involved now.” 

Blair began to talk about the new leaders in 
the region — in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the 
UAE, Qatar — and how sensible and dynamic they 
were, and how much they wanted to support the 
new framework for peace, and how the stars were 
aligning for a solution. 

I looked around at his suite, the balcony over- 
looking the beach. 

Who pays for this room? I asked. 

“I pay for it in part,” he said. “But it’s raised 
money. I have to raise money.” 

This isn’t a charity project, what you’re 
doing here? 

“Well, it’s not in a formal, legal sense, it’s not. 
And I suppose actually it will be, in the end.” 

“We’re almost there,” said one of Blair’s team. 


15 SEPTEMBER 2016 


You don’t have to do any of this stuff you’re 
doing now. No one is forcing you to do it. It’s 

not like if you don’t do it, everyone’s going to 
go, ‘Why the hell isn’t Tony Blair out there fix- 
ing the Middle East? It’s up to him to sort it!’ 
So, this is entirely your choice. The question 
is: what makes you do it? Why are you doing it? 
“Because I think I’ve got something to contribute 
to a thing that is important and because if you’ve 
spent most of your life trying to make a difference 
in the world you want to carry on doing it.” 

A cynical man would suggest that also you’re 
atoning for something... 


Or that you feel a sense of responsibility 
because you were one of the main players in 
how the world has come to this point. 

“That’s a slightly different thing. I do feel a sense 
of responsibility. And my interest in doing things 
around the peace process in the Middle East, 
yes, is in part as a result of my experience in 
government. But it’s also because I think, again 
rightly or wrongly, that I have, as a result of my 
experience, a way of looking at these issues — 
development, extremism, Middle East — which 
is different and where I believe that the policy has 
to change. And, you know, we’re still building this 
whole organisation. A lot of people won’t think 
this way at the moment because most people just 
read about [his personal wealth] or about Iraq or 
so on, and don’t actually understand what I’m 
doing now. But I think we will in time build this 
organisation into something really significant. 
But we will see.” 

Others would suggest you are doing what 
you’re doing because you hope to repair your 


Instead of the guy who invaded Iraq, you could 
be the guy who fixed the Middle East peace 
process. Which would be better. 

“No, it’s not to do with that. It’s to do with the fact 
that I’m really interested and I think I’ve got some- 
thing to contribute. I think what’s interesting, for 
example, about the Middle East, is, I would say, 
this debate and activity that I’ve developed around 
the possibility of a new relationship between 
Israel and the Arab world. I think increasingly it is 
being accepted as the most sensible way forward. 
Now, I will only ever play a part in that but that’s 
where I think I can make a contribution and that’s 
why I do it. And because I think it is connected to 
this wider issue of extremism, since I think you 
will never defeat this extremism unless you fix 
the Middle East. And it will be fixed, by the way, 
in the end. People look at it and say it’s hopeless. 
No, it’s not, it’s undergoing this agonising process 
of transition but in the end what will emerge, with 
whatever difficulty and however much turmoil 
there will be in the meantime, what will emerge 
will be something much better.” 

2 5 


2 5 

[ 194 ] 

I’ve followed you around a bit. Your life is 
extremely circumscribed by your position. 
It’s a beautiful day outside. The rest of us can 
go for a coffee, or wander in the park for a bit, 
sit on a bench and read a book. You can’t. Do 
you miss that? 

“I do miss that. But it just comes with the territory, 
doesn’t it?” 

Do you ever think about how you could have 
taken a different path? You chose this life, you 
could have chosen another. 

“Sometimes, I do think, ‘What would have hap- 
pened if I had taken a different path?’ I don’t think 
I would ever have stayed a lawyer. I might have 
done other things, and I’m still very interested in 
learning and thinking and writing about other 
things. I’m very interested in concepts of faith and 
issues to do with religion. I’ve always been really 
interested in that. But right now I’m very focused 
on the centre ground in politics and how it recov- 
ers its energy and vitality.” 

You’ll soon have been the former prime min- 
ister longer than you were the sitting one. 
You’ve said that you enjoy your new life more 
than you enjoyed your previous one. 

“I always found it a bit odd when people talked 
about ‘enjoying’ being prime minister. I think 
some people do, by the way, but I would never 
describe it that way. You have a huge sense of pur- 
pose but I found the decisions of such magnitude 
that it was hard to enjoy it very often.” 

How would you describe it? Fulfilling? 

“Yeah, definitely. You’re taking big decisions and 
running a country so it’s exciting in that sense, 

And now? 

“It’s less stressful.” 

B efore he was elected prime minister for 
the first time, before 9/11 and Afghani- 
stan and Iraq and everything else, Tony 
Blair seemed to some of us like one of us. Not 
everyone, by any means, but many people in Brit- 
ain were persuaded by him. That’s why he won 
three consecutive general elections. The thing 
about seeming to be one of us and turning out 
to be one of them — if that’s what happened — is 
that it’s worse than if you’d obviously been one of 
them from the beginning. It feels like a betrayal. 
It stings. And that perhaps explains some of the 
fury directed at Blair, even before you arrive at the 
specifics of Iraq and so on. 

To some he will always be “Tony Bliar”, venal 

pocket-liner. To many, he is discredited, at best. 
All this has to hurt, of course, on a personal level 
— Blair is a charmer, someone who likes to be 
liked — but perhaps more damagingly, in his eyes, 
it means that, for now at least, his brand of politics 
is tarnished by association. The centre ground, 
here and elsewhere, is in retreat, and the extreme 
fringes are in the ascendant. (Whether you think 
this is the fault of Blair and his generation of 
leaders or not, unless you are yourself of the far 
left or the far right, it’s hard to feel much sense of 
triumph about it.) 

When we talked in Israel, I alluded to the fact 
that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the 
least popular presidential candidates ever in the 
US, and said what an indictment that was of con- 
temporary politics. 

“And you can go right round the world on 
that,” he said. 

And in the UK? 

“Well,” he said, “in the UK at the moment 
you’ve got a one-party state.” 

Yes, I said, and the leader was not elected. 

“When you put it all together,” he said, “there’s 
something seriously wrong.” 

In London, I asked about Jeremy Corbyn, 
and the way the hard left has taken control of the 
Labour Party, all but erasing the work Blair and 
his inner circle had done, over many years, mak- 
ing Labour the party of government. It was as if 
New Labour had never happened. 

I asked him if he could take Jeremy Corbyn 
seriously as a potential prime minister? 

“This is not about Jeremy Corbyn,” he said. 
“It’s about two different cultures in one organism. 
One culture is the culture of the Labour Party as a 
party of government. And that, historically, is why 
Labour was formed: to win representation in Par- 
liament and ultimately to influence and to be the 
government of the country. The other culture is 
the ultra-left, which believes the important thing 
is to raise the consciousness of the people, that 
believes that the action on the street is as impor- 
tant as the action in Parliament. That culture has 
now taken the leadership of the Labour Party. It’s 
a huge problem because they live in a world that 
is very, very remote from the way that the broad 
mass of people really think.” 

Blair was on a roll now. “The reason why the 
position of these guys is not one that will appeal 
to an electorate is not because they’re too left,” 
he said, “or because they’re too principled. It’s 
because they’re too wrong. The reason their 
policies shouldn’t be supported isn’t because 
they’re just too wildly radical, it’s because they’re 
not. They don’t work. They’re actually a form of 
conservatism. This is the point about them. What 
they are offering is a mixture of fantasy and error.” 

On 24 September, Corbyn strengthened his 
position by defeating a challenge to his leadership. 
The following day I spoke to Blair on the phone. 
He was in Los Angeles, raising funds for his work 
in the Middle East. 


I asked how he felt about Corbyn’s victory. 
He said he felt the same way now as he did before. 
“Frankly,” he said, “it’s a tragedy for British poli- 
tics if the choice before the country is a Conserv- 
ative government going for a hard Brexit and an 
ultra-left Labour Party that believes in a set of 
policies that takes us back to the Sixties.” 

I wondered if he wasn’t now questioning his 
decision to keep quiet during the leadership con- 
test? “I don’t think it would have made any differ- 
ence at all,” he said. “Certainly if I’d intervened 
for [Corbyn’s challenger] Owen Smith it probably 
would not have helped him. In fact it wouldn’t 
have helped him. That’s just the reality.” In other 
words, so unpopular is Blair even in his own party, 
the one he led to the greatest electoral successes 
in its history, that if he were to take a position in 
a debate it would damage that position, as a direct 
consequence. I asked if he could ever see a time 
when there would be a formal role for him in the 
Labour Party, or in British politics? 

“I don’t know if there’s a role for me,” he said. 
“But I’ve got views and I’ve just expressed them to 
you. I guess I’m entitled to speak. It’s a free country.” 

What, I asked Blair, will his legacy be? 

“My Lord,” he said. “That’s one of those...” He 
ummed and erred for a while. “I think it’s too early to 
say, actually,” he said. “I know that sounds a bit of a...” 
He tailed off. Then started again. “I don’t like talking 
about my own legacy,” he said. “Everyone’s got their 
own opinion.” 

“I don’t know,” he said. “I could write you an 
essay on it, but...” 

For a very brief moment, he sounded almost 
defeated. But then he rallied, as he tends to do, and 
he began to spell out all the positive things he felt he 
had achieved while he was in office, and of course 
there are plenty of those, some easy to explain — 
the introduction of the minimum wage, peace in 
Northern Ireland — others harder to measure, such 
as what he describes as a more tolerant society, with 
less prejudice, more equality of opportunity. And he 
went on for a while from there. 

“Playing my part in all that was, I hope, what the 
legacy will be, but who knows?” 

Still, when he looks at the political situation now, 
it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t feel dismayed? 

“Obviously,” he said, “there’s been this huge reac- 
tion against the politics I represent. But I think it’s too 
soon to say the centre has been defeated. Ultimately 
I don’t think it will be. I think it will succeed again.” 

He doesn’t feel deflated or depressed? 

“Mostly I feel motivation,” he said. “The centre 
ground is in retreat. This is our challenge. We’ve got to 
rise to that challenge.” 

I tried again. What is his role going to be in this? 
Can he see himself returning to politics in some way? 

“There’s a limit to what I want to say about my own 
position at this moment,” he said. “All I can say is that 
this is where politics is at. Do I feel very strongly about 
it? Yes, I do. Am I very motivated by that? Yes. Where 
do I go from here? What exactly do I do? That’s an 
open question.” □ 

[ 195 ] 



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T: 01539 721032 E: 
or visit 

November 2016 


A Aesop 
Aspinal of London 
+44 845 052 6900 
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B Ball available at 
Bell & Ross +44 20 7629 1558 

Bottega Veneta +44 20 7838 9394 
Burberry +44 20 7806 8904 

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DSquared2 dsquared 2 .c 0 m 

F Fear of God 

G Giorgio Armani +44 20 7235 6232 

Gucci +44 20 7235 6707 

H Hackett 

J J Crew +44 808 234 3686 

Jaeger +44 845 051 0063 

Jil Sander 
JW Anderson j-w-anderson. com 

K Kiehl’s 

Joe Alwyn wears brown/beige 
checked tweed jacket, £3,160; 
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L Lab Series 
Lands’ End 
Levi’s +44 16 0459 9735 

Louis Vuitton +44 20 7399 4050 

M Marks & Spencer 

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Photograph by Anton Corbijn 


Object of Desire 

n° 64 Giorgio Armani two-piece suit 

£3,050 Over 40 years ago, Giorgio Armani founded his label. In that time, the brand has become synonymous with discreet, understated luxury. What has remained true throughout Armani’s 

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Photograph by Dan McAlister 

Words by Teo van den Broeke 


Drawing on Art Deco influences 
and our rich design heritage 
of the early twentieth century, 
these timepieces are perfect 
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I was made and meant to 
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in & Webb